Climate change poses a huge risk to the future of food. At the same time food production and consumption are a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nestlé will therefore halve its GHG emissions by 2030 to reach net zero by 2050. Net zero means that the company will drastically reduce its GHG emissions from farm to fork, implementing projects to store carbon in soils and by planting trees.
Move to regenerative agriculture
More than 2/3 of Nestlé’s emissions come from the production of agricultural ingredients it uses. The company sources those from 500,000 farms it works with directly and another 4.5 million farms it engages through suppliers all over the world. To tackle agricultural emissions, Nestlé will transform with its suppliers the way food is produced. More intensive farming practices will be transformed into regenerative agriculture, for the benefit of nature and ensuring a decent farmer income. In practice, Nestlé focuses on healthy soils, net zero dairy farms and sustainably sourced cocoa and coffee.
One third of the world’s topsoils have already been degraded. To reverse this trend, Nestlé trains and rewards farmers to use less pesticide and apply techniques such as permanent soil cover, crop rotation and reduced tillage. This will help keep more carbon and water locked up in the ground and creating healthier soils and landscapes. Nestlé already initiated such programs in France and the UK and it will broaden these across the region, starting in Italy and Hungary. Within the next five years, the company will source 20% of its key ingredients from regenerative the agriculture – and 50% by 2030.
Sustainable sourcing of cocoa and coffee
Cocoa and coffee are two key ingredients that Nestlé uses in many of its products in the region. The company does not want the production of those ingredients to be linked to deforestation, which is leading to more carbon emissions. By 2025, 100% of the cocoa and coffee Nestlé uses will be sustainably sourced. For this Nestlé is cooperating with farmers to avoid deforestation and rolling out an ambitious reforestation plan. In 2020, the company kicked off a public-private partnership to conserve and restore the Cavally Forest, one of the last remaining biodiversity hotspots in Côte d’Ivoire. The company has committed to plant every year at least 20 million trees till 2030 in the areas where it sources ingredients.
Rethinking production and transport methods
By 2025, Nestlé will use 100% green electricity in all 800 international factories and offices. Already more than 80 of the 129 plants in the EMENA area use exclusively green energy, and investments in logistics hubs in the UK, France and Italy together with the transition, where possible, to alternative means of transport (eg French trains towed by electric locomotives) make it possible to significantly reduce greenhouse gases.
Promoting sustainable products among consumers
A special place in Nestlé’s global portfolio is occupied by sustainable products, offering consumers interested in healthy, organic or environmentally friendly products an alternative that does not compromise taste and flavor. The most recent example is the wide range of herbal foods and beverages. Some of our top brands will soon have a neutral carbon footprint: Garden Gourmet, S. Pellegrino, Perrier, Acqua Panna, Vittel, Nespresso, all by 2022. Nestlé’s neutral carbon footprint brands meet established international standards that assesses the impact on the environment throughout the life cycle of the product. Locally, Nestlé Romania will accelerate its efforts already started in previous years, from the constant reduction of the amount of greenhouse gases, water, waste, to the transition to green electricity in a proportion of 100% in the following years, playing in at the same time a key role in the process of adopting nationally sustainable practices.
As part of the POPAS 2020 project, Nestlé Romania launched the first biodiversity study for Cozia National Park, focusing on green areas a year ago, when 500 volunteers collected more than 40 tons of waste, sent for recycling or recovery. There was also a planting of 30,000 acacia saplings in the same project, which will neutralize a total of more than 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide by 2050. The saplings, planted on an area of 20 hectares, will help expand the feeding area for bees, promote pollination of native species, as well as vegetative remediation of soil in certain areas of the park. Acacia saplings have been specially chosen both to meet the needs of the soil in the targeted areas, which need vegetative remediation, but also to support the activity of honey in the area, with beekeepers able to develop their businesses with about 80 bee families that will produce more than 35 tons of honey for the local community by 2050.
Sustainability indicators for Romania show an 88% decrease in water consumption since 2011, an 85% decrease in the amount of waste and a 72% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, and we will work continue to work closely with local partners to expand these practices.
Nestlé will invest a total of CHF 3.2 billion over the next five years to accelerate our net zero climate work, including CHF 1.2 billion to spark regenerative agriculture across the supply chain, for farm to fork.