Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability landing image
This was a coffee capsule… Nespresso coffee capsules given a second life as iconic objects.

We all depend on the natural environment. As a major nutrition, health and wellness company, Nestlé can shape sustainable consumption and steward resources for future generations. We set ourselves ambitious commitments and objectives that require us to make real progress: from using sustainably managed and renewable resources to operating more and more efficiently, from working towards our goal of zero waste to combating climate change. Besides, Nestlé is in a strong position to help others steward our common planet’s resources, safeguarding its future by encouraging more sustainable consumption. Our 2030 ambition is to go for zero environmental impact in our operations.

Our approach

We want to ensure that our products are not only tastier and healthier but also better for the environment. We will achieve this by striving to protect the future of the world around us.

We depend on water and natural resources. We aim to use the most efficient technologies and apply best practices to further optimise energy and water consumption, minimise waste generation, use sustainably managed renewable energy sources, recover value from by-products and control and eliminate emissions, including greenhouse gases (GHGs).

We support the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have built a strategy that will allow us to achieve our strategic ambition:

  • Acting on climate change: We continue to tackle the impacts of climate change, making our supply chains more resilient by supporting their adaptation to the new global reality and further reducing our emissions;
  • Safeguarding the environment: We pursue greater efficiency in our use of resources, reducing the amount of food wasted and further improving our impact on the environment; and
  • Caring for water: We continue to develop our water stewardship strategies as we seek to generate more water than we use.

Acting on climate change

Addressing climate change is a critical global challenge. Although the Paris Agreement produced global commitments to keep temperature increases at under 2°C (and 1.5°C if possible), achieving this target will only be possible if we all play our part.

Our strategy

We are committed to further reducing the GHGs emitted by our operations and along our value chain, and to making our supply chain more resilient. We have already made real progress, but we are committed to going further by:

  • Mitigation: Reduce GHG emissions from our direct operations and supply chain;
  • Adaptation: Engage with stakeholders to provide the best support we can to build resilience along our supply chain; and
  • Reporting: Transparently report our emission reduction activities and work with governments, trade bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

We are well placed to demonstrate climate change leadership, ensuring the continuity of our own business while protecting the future. However, we cannot do it alone. It is vital that we work with our stakeholders to find solutions to the environmental challenges that climate change may exacerbate.

Collective action

Building resistance with Feed the Future

Nestlé signed a partnership with Feed the Future in 2016 to support its new strategic cocoa initiative: Climate Smart Cocoa. The project aims to support smallholder farmers in cocoa-producing locations, such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, adopting agricultural practices to offset the challenges of climate change. Through Climate Smart Cocoa, we will directly contribute to developing evidence-based action strategies, and support the design and piloting of services and tools.

Leadership in climate change transparency

Nestlé has been recognised as a global leader in tackling climate change, earning a place on CDP’s Climate A List. Nestlé is among the 9% of participating companies to be awarded an A grade, in recognition of the company’s work to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. As a member of RE100, a global collaborative initiative uniting influential businesses, we aim to procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources within the shortest practical timescale.

Our commitments

Safeguarding the environment

The planet’s natural resources are finite and rapidly depleting, as human consumption increases. Research indicates that, globally, we consume 1.6 times what our planet naturally provides – which takes 18 months for the Earth to regenerate (Global Footprint Network, 2016). We must grow food to sustain a rapidly growing population, but we must also ensure that our agricultural practices and our consumption are sustainable.

Our strategy

Nestlé is committed to being a more environmentally sustainable business with a lower impact on the planet. We can achieve this through pursuing greater efficiency in the resources we use and rely on and improving the environmental performance that our products and operations have.

We believe in making the right choices for our planet’s future and enabling our consumers to do so too, using renewable resources wherever possible, pushing to make the circular economy a reality through our operations and reducing waste to zero. We must make the most of all the resources that we use, and support consumers in making better, science-based decisions about the products that they buy.

Collective action

Tackling food waste with Champions 12.3

In 2016, our CEO, Paul Bulcke, joined Champions 12.3, a coalition of government, industry and NGO influencers dedicated to accelerating progress towards this target. As part of Champions 12.3, we directly contributed to the drafting and launching of the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (pdf, 14.3Mb), launched in June 2016 at the Global Green Growth Forum.

Our commitments