Human Rights

Our founder W.K. Kellogg once said, “Dollars have never been known to produce character, and character will never be produced by money. I'll invest my money in people.” 

People are the heart and soul of our business and Kellogg is committed to protecting, respecting and advancing the cause of human rights across our value chain in our work internally, externally and in our corporate priorities. 

Globally, we have been working to protect and advance human rights for over a decade. We have a strong reputation with NGOs and customers, and our performance has been recognized in various global human rights benchmarks. For the 2020/2021 benchmark, we ranked 4th in the Food and Beverage sector for the 2020/2021 Know the Chain global human rights benchmark and 15th for the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark for the Agricultural Products sector in 2020.

Policies & External Alignment

In 2020, Kellogg published our updated Global Human Rights Policy. This policy highlights salient human rights risks within our operations and global supply chain and details our refreshed human rights strategy for how we are working to mitigate and remediate these issues. These risks were identified through a detailed internal materiality analysis and with the support of third-party consulting firm ELEVATE. This policy supplements our other foundational policies, the Global Supplier Code of Conduct and Policy Statement Prohibiting Involuntary Labor, that guide our operations and inform our expectations for supplier and supply chain partnerships.

Kellogg’s Human Rights Policy has been drafted in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. We are committed to upholding the rights enshrined in the International Bill of Human Rights (including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the eight International Labour Organization (ILO) fundamental conventions as set out in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This includes our commitment to the four core conventions - Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining (Convention No. 87 & No. 98), the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour (Convention No. 29 & No. 105), the effective abolition of child labour (Convention No. 138 & No. 182), and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (Convention No. 100 & No. 111). Kellogg is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and we communicate our progress annually.

Risk-Based Approach

We are committed to engaging and partnering with peers and suppliers to find solutions to issues within our global supply chains – this is essential to our work in human and workplace rights. We set clear expectations, seek to drive accountability and assess potential and actual risk that our supply chain operations may cause or contribute to, both directly and indirectly.

In 2019, we undertook a third-party verification exercise with ELEVATE to reassess our salient human rights risks, both for owned operations and within our supply chain. In 2020, informed by this assessment, Kellogg updated policies, due diligence methodology and reporting. This approach is aligned with the UNGP guidance on identifying areas where the risk of adverse human rights impacts is most significant.

Kellogg utilizes a combination of publicly available indices from reputable sources, including Sedex Radar, to assess forced labor, and other salient rights, risk for supplier operations by region and commodity.

Grievance Mechanism

The Kellogg Ethics Hot Line offers a confidential way for employees, suppliers, contractors and the general public to ask questions and report concerns about ethics, compliance or any other requirements in our Global Code of Ethics and Supplier Code. The Hot Line, which is operated by a third-party, confidential reporting company, is available immediately and anonymously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via telephone, internet or mobile app in 21 countries and in local languages. The operator will listen to concerns or inquiries and provide a written summary to our Office of Ethics and Compliance for investigation and further action, as appropriate.

Regional compliance leaders review and resolve complaints and inquiries consistent with our investigation protocols. All complaints and inquiries are monitored and subject to review at the corporate level. Appropriate action is taken, based on investigation findings. Lessons learned are leveraged to prevent and detect future misconduct, ensure compliance and identify any other opportunities for improvement.

ELEVATE Supplier Assessment Pilot

In 2019, Kellogg partnered with ELEVATE to develop a comprehensive long-term, data-driven responsible sourcing strategy that addresses salient rights risks within priority ingredient and packaging supply chains. This work enables the scalability of current programs and supports Kellogg’s Better Days Promise. This program has phases: segmentation and supplier categorization, execution of risk assessments, beginning with prioritized suppliers according to human rights risk, and remediation and capability building

Actioning on the learnings from the assessments, Kellogg and ELEVATE are developing a plan for supporting participating suppliers to enable them to act on the findings and remediate identified issues. We are also taking feedback from our suppliers regarding their experiences with this program to incorporate into future human rights due diligence work.


Learn more about our commitments and progress in the 2021 human rights milestones document (opens in new tab).