VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestlé shared a roadmap for how it will cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, as part of its pledge to the United National “Business Ambition for the 1.5°C” program.
The company’s detailed plan includes time frames for reducing or mitigating several environmental impacts by implementing sustainable ingredient sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, logistics and employee travel policies.
“The Board recognizes the strategic importance of taking decisive measures to address climate change,” said Paul Bulcke, chairman of Nestlé’s board. “It supports accelerating and scaling up our work to ensure the long-term success of the company and to contribute to a sustainable future for generations to come.”
The company will invest 3.2 billion Swiss francs ($3.59 billion USD) into these initiatives over the next five years, of which 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.35 billion USD) will support regenerative agriculture.
Nestlé aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% by 2025. Between 2021 and 2025, the company will strive for a number of initiatives, including planting 20 million trees per year, becoming 100% deforestation free in its primary supply chain, transitioning to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging, lowering vehicle emissions, sourcing 20% of its key ingredients through regenerative agricultural methods, and using 100% renewable electricity in all facilities.
By 2030, Nestlé hopes to up the ante by using more renewable thermal energy in its manufacturing, planting 200 million trees and sourcing 50% of its key ingredients from regenerative agriculture. These initiatives are structured to help the company achieve net zero environmental impact by 2050.
In 2018, the company emitted 113 million tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e), of which 3.3 million tonnes were emitted directly from on-site sources, 2.5 million tonnes were emitted indirectly through purchased energy, and 107.3 million tonnes were emitted throughout its value chain.
A majority (71.4% or 65.6 million tonnes) of Nestlé’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were contributed from its ingredient sourcing, while 11.9% (11 million tonnes) were contributed from packaging, 8.2% (7.5 million tonnes) were contributed by supply chain logistics, and 7.7% (7 million tonnes) by manufacturing.
“Tackling climate change can't wait and neither can we,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer. “It is imperative to the long-term success of our business. 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.”
Already, the company is working with more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers working in regenerative agriculture, a method of improving and maintaining soil health and promoting diverse ecosystems. Nestlé said it expects to source more than 14 million tons of ingredients through regenerative agriculture sources by 2030.
Nestlé will also plant trees in areas where it sources ingredients to promote biodiversity, carbon removal in the atmosphere and soil health as part of its reforestation efforts. Its primary supply chains for palm oil and soy will be deforestation-free by 2022, the company 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,” said Magdi Batato, executive vice president and head of operations. “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.”
Additionally, the company will transition all 800 facilities across 187 countries to 100% renewable electricity in the next five years; switch to lower-emission vehicles for its supply chain and business travel; implement water and food waste protection; and reformulate products to include more environmentally friendly plant-based ingredients.
Nestlé’s emission reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with the goals of The Paris Agreement for climate.
Nestlé’ has spelled out its sustainability initiatives in great detail in its Net Zero Roadmap, published this month. It will provide annual updates on these initiatives for full transparency.
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