Kellogg’s is one of world’s most ethical companies for many reasons. To start with, the Founder W. K. Kellogg wanted to do good things for people, starting with nutrition and the environment, and began promoting environmentally-friendly processes by producing the first boxes of cereal in recycled packaging in 1906. Today, Kellogg’s uses 100% recycled packaging. In addition, Kellogg’s created a Social Responsibility Committee in 1979 that now deals with environmental concerns, health & safety, addiction and abuse, and other issues that impact employees and communities.
Kellogg’s recently received an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for diversity in compliance and ethics. Kellogg’s is also the 2007 national sponsor for Race for the Cure, and has a comprehensive program for United Way’s Days of Caring, in which the entire company donates time. In 2009, the cereal giant Kellogg asked stores to stop selling its popular Keebler and Austin brand peanut butter crackers, as health officials reported two more deaths in the nationwide salmonella outbreak that is linked to peanut butter.
What is important to note is that Kellogg had discovered no trace of salmonella in its peanut butter crackers but took the action as a “precautionary measure”. If Kellogg was looking only at its bottom line, the company could have decided to sit back, say nothing, and continue to collect revenue. Instead, Kellogg willingly put safety first, choosing to withdraw its crackers from the market and forego profits rather than put its customers at risk.
Another good example of its good ethics is in 2007 when the Kellogg Company announced that it would phase out advertising its products to children under age 12 unless the foods meet specific nutrition guidelines for calories, sugar, fat and sodium. Kellogg also announced that it would stop using licensed characters or branded toys to promote foods unless the products meet the nutrition guidelines.
With the increasing trend of obesity among Americans, according to its corporate responsibility report of 2009 the focus of Kellogg’s has now become on the ingredients that make up their products. Specifically, the salt content is now the issue Kellogg is trying to resolve. Kellogg believes that they are close to finding a substitute for salt or reducing the salt content in their products while at the same time maintaining the great taste that their consumers love.