By Royal Ibeh,
As a signatory of the UN ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge, Nestlé is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.
Nestlé Chairman Paul Bulcke said, “The Board recognizes the strategic importance of taking decisive measures to address climate change, adding that it supports accelerating and scaling up work to ensure the long-term success of the company and to contribute to a sustainable future for generations to come.
This roadmap, according to the chairman, is the result of a complete review of Nestlé’s businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it as the company emitted 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which will serve as the baseline for measuring progress.
“Tackling climate change can’t wait and neither can we. It is imperative to the long-term success of our business,” said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, adding that, “We have a unique opportunity to address climate change, as we operate in nearly every country in the world and have the size, scale and reach to make a difference. We will work together with farmers, industry partners, governments, non-governmental organizations and our consumers to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Meanwhile, Nestlé’s work to get to net zero spans three main areas. The company is already working with over 500 000 farmers and 150 000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices. Such practices improve soil health and maintain and restore diverse ecosystems.
In return, Nestlé is offering to reward farmers by purchasing their goods at a premium, buying bigger quantities and co-investing in necessary capital expenditures. Nestlé expects to source over 14 million tons of its ingredients through regenerative agriculture by 2030, boosting demand for such goods.
Nestlé is also scaling up its reforestation program to plant 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years in the areas where it sources ingredients. More trees mean more shade for crops, more carbon removed from the atmosphere, higher yields and improved biodiversity and soil health.
The company’s primary supply chains of key commodities, like palm oil and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022. Through efforts like these, Nestlé is building longer term partnerships and providing farming communities with greater certainty and higher incomes.
In its operation, Nestlé expects to complete the transition of its 800 sites in the 187 countries where it operates to 100 per cent renewable electricity within the next five years. The company is switching its global fleet of vehicles to lower emission options and will reduce and offset business travel by 2022. It is also implementing water protection and regeneration measures and tackling food waste in its operations.
Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President and Head of Operations, said, “With nearly two-thirds of our emissions coming from agriculture, it is clear that regenerative agriculture and reforestation are the focal points of our path to net zero. These efforts will reduce emissions and improve biodiversity at scale. We will also continue to eliminate emissions from our operations and make improvements in our product portfolio. We have our work cut out for us and we are committed to delivering.”