Jun 20, 2013, updated June 2013
To better understand and optimise the environmental performance of our products, Nestlé uses a fact-based life cycle approach that systematically assesses our product categories along the entire value chain.
Our packaging is one area where we can make a considerable difference to our environmental impact. Beyond ensuring that all our packaging is compliant, we are investing in finding new and better ways to reduce our water, energy, material use as well as reducing waste at every stage.
To help us drive down the environmental impact of our products, we have developed a Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET) that allows us to calculate the environmental impact of different packaging choices.
Based on full life cycle assessment (LCA), it looks at eight environmental indicators including carbon footprint, water use and solid waste. By the end of 2012 600 packaging designers were using PIQUET and around 1700 Eco Design analyses had been completed.
Sustainability through design
PIQET was used to improve the environmental performance of the packaging for our Crunch and Galak chocolate in Italy. The new packaging, which is easier to recycle, has resulted in an annual saving of EUR 160 000 (CHF 193 000).
The diagram below illustrates the environmental performance improvements achieved with the new packaging compared to the old packaging:
The PIQUET tool was also used when redesigning our Nescafé Dali pouches for the UK market. The tool helped us to achieve a significant reduction in our impact across all the environmental indicators when compared with Kenco’s ‘eco-refill’ pouch, as illustrated below:
Making the consumer part of the solution
We believe an important part of our role is educating consumers in the importance of recycling. Recycled aluminium and PET, for example, can considerably reduce the amount of energy and raw materials needed to produce packaging.
We are also working with governments, local authorities and other third parties to make recycling easier and increase the number of recycling facilities across Europe.
Value to Society
- Using our PIQUET tool we are able to significantly reduce the environmental impact of our packaging, and protect the planet and its resources for future generations.
- Our improved packaging is often lighter, easier to store and easier to recycle.
- Better packaging assures the quality of our food products.
- Our work with governments, local authorities and other third parties to make recycling easier and increase the number of recycling facilities across Europe.
Value to Nestlé
- Better packaging means we can guarantee the safety and quality of our products.
- A lower environmental impact helps us to meet our sustainability objectives
- Improved packaging involves lower costs from more effective distribution, lower material costs, energy and resource savings.
- We will continue to educate consumers in the importance of recycling and work with the relevant third parties and authorities to make recycling easier and more accessible.
- We are working with universities, big and small businesses and suppliers to find, test and develop ever more sustainable materials. For example, we are investigating bioplastics, from non-food sources, and how we can make these safe and available on a large scale.