There is substantial interest in Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) performance as investors are becoming more aware of HSE issues and are beginning to index companies based on their environmental performance. Many other stakeholders are interested in the HSE performance of companies including that of General Mills. They want to be able to compare and contrast HSE performance both within and across industrial sectors. General Mills is responding to this interest and sees an opportunity to take HSE activities to the next level. This thesis reviews current HSE performance reporting trends in general industry and the food industry and proposes useful performance measures for General Mills. It identifies potential HSE performance indicators while considering industry accepted formats, commonly reported indicators in the food industry and the needs of stakeholders. The results were as follows: 1) The most globally accepted reporting format is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); 2) In a cross-section of general industry, all aligned their HSE performance reports with GRI; 3) Reporting in the food industry varies widely from no reporting to extensive reporting against GRI; 4) The most global food companies have the most extensive HSE reports; and 5) General Mills is currently collecting data that, when publicly reported, will place them in the top tier of food companies in terms of HSE performance reporting. This thesis also discusses the format that HSE performance indicators are reported and suggests that GRI indicators may lead to misrepresentation between reporting companies.

Key Words: stakeholders; intangible business value; triple bottom line; health; safety; environment; environmental; environmental management; management; environmental, health, and safety management; health, safety, and environmental management; indicators; performance indicators; metrics; business metrics; guidelines; principles; Global Reporting Initiative; GRI; corporate sustainability reports; environmental reports; corporate reporting; safety performance; environmental performance; sustainability; sustainable development; food industry; general industry; General Mills

Library of Congress Subject Headings

General Mills, Inc.--Evaluation; Industrial management--Environmental aspects; Industrial hygiene--Evaluation; Industrial safety--Evaluation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Environmental, Health and Safety Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Maureen Valentine

Advisor/Committee Member

John Morelli

Advisor/Committee Member

Gary Olmstead


"I, Jeffrey L. Hanratty prefer to be contacted each time a request for reproduction of my graduate thesis is made."

Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HD30.255 .H36 2005


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