Increasing energy efficiency
We aim to become the most efficient energy user among food manufacturers, and continue to pursue energy efficiency in our factories (see Manufacturing for more information).
Our total on-site energy generated from renewable sources accounts for 12.2% of the total consumption of our factories (2011: 11.6%). In 20 Nescafé factories, for example, coffee grounds from manufacturing process are used as a source of renewable energy.
Spent coffee grounds represent 3.4%, wood represents 3.1%, and an estimated 5.7% can be attributed to the purchase of electrical energy generated from other renewable sources.
Below are some examples of our most recent renewable energy initiatives.
- Following a power purchase agreement with Mexican wind-turbine company CISA-GAMESA, 85% of the total electricity consumed by our factories in Mexico is now supplied by wind power. We estimate that this will reduce air emissions, including greenhouse gases (GHG), by more than 124,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent annually, comparable to taking 39,000 small cars off the road annually. We are the first food company in Mexico to obtain nearly all the electrical energy needed for its manufacturing operations from a renewable source.
- Nestlé France’s Challerange factory, which produces milk powder for Dolce Gusto capsules, now operates a wood-fired boiler using woodchips sourced from forests certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) meeting 96% of the plant's fuel needs. This initiative will generate approximately 8,000 tonnes CO2 savings per year and will help us to minimise the impact of energy price increases. Two other wood-fired boilers will come on at our Rosières (mashed potatoes) and Herta St Pol (sausages and hams) factories by the end 2012. These three wood boilers together will make CO2 savings of 25% for Nestlé France.
- The new boiler at Nestlé Chile’s Osorno factory, which produces Nido 1+, Nido 3+, Nido 5+ and other dairy products, uses wood sourced from local forests certified by the National System of Wood Certification of Chile. This prevents the emission of 10,400 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to an equivalent boiler using non-renewable sources.
GHG emissions reduction
By using energy more efficiently and switching to cleaner fuels (from coal to gas, for example) and investing in renewable sources, such as spent coffee grounds and wood from sustainably managed forests and, solar and wind energy we’ve reduced our direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012 to 3.7 million tonnes of CO2eq equivalent, while our production volume increased by 5.5% (2011: 3.8 million tonnes CO2eq).
Direct GHG emissions
We reduced our direct GHG emissions to 78 kg of CO2eq equivalent per tonne of product in 2012 (2011: 84 kg of CO2eq per tonne of product). This equates to a 1.2 million tonne (24%) reduction, or a 50% reduction per tonne of product since 2002 – during which period our production volume increased by 53%.
Indirect GHG emissions
Our indirect GHG emissions from purchased energy increased by 4.9% to 3.4 million tonnes, which equals a 0.6% reduction per tonne of product compared to 2011.
We estimate to have generated approximately 357 500 tonnes of direct and indirect GHG emissions from our warehousing in 2011 and 2.8 million tonnes of CO2eq from transportation in 2011 (2012 figures not available at the time of publication) (see Transport and distribution for more details).
Reporting Scope 3 emissions
Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions. We use the “Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard” to estimate our GHG emissions both upstream and downstream of their operations. In 2012, we fine-tuned our ‘Scope 3’ emissions, covering indirect emissions such as fuel and energy-related activities (not included in Scopes 1 or 2), employees commuting and the end-of-life treatment of sold products. Our Scope 3 emissions can be found in our 2013 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) submission (pdf, 1.08Mb), pages 81 to 88.
We engage with some of our suppliers to obtain detailed information on their emission-generating activities also helping them to implement less GHG-intensive practices.
External reporting on climate change
In 2012, we were ranked first for both performance and disclosure in the CDP Investor Programme, making us the leading company in their ‘Global 500’. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to reduce GHG emissions and support sustainable water use by business. They measure companies in a number of ways, including how they incorporate climate change into their business plans, how they monitor emissions, their transparency and actions they take to mitigate their impact.
In 2012, we received the highest score in the food producers’ climate strategy section of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, for our performance in reducing and managing carbon risk.
Moving to natural refrigerants
See Manufacturing for more details on how we are pioneering the replacement of synthetic refrigerants installations with safe natural refrigerants, and implementing new solutions to improve their performance.
Climate change adaptation
Increasingly, we are helping our stakeholders adapt to climate change impacts – both to support their livelihoods and the environment; sharing good practices with different stakeholders and reducing the risk to food security and the long-term supply of materials to our business. In 2012, we conducted an investigation project looking at the climate change projections for countries of importance to us and produced research papers on climate adaptation for coffee, cocoa and dairy.
We are especially committed to helping farmers to adapt and become more resilient so they can continue to grow crops in the face of changing patterns of agricultural production.
For example, after the extended drought of 2008–2010, followed by flooding rains, Nestlé Australia set up a four-year social resilience project in collaboration with the Birchip Cropping Group, to understand how wheat and sheep farm businesses in northwest Victoria identify, interpret and respond to both acute and long-term climate challenges.
In Venezuela, we are helping farmers to provide natural shading for livestock, controlling soil erosion and preserving water.
Improving crop resistance through R&D
We use our considerable scientific expertise and resources to find ways to improve crop resilience. Our R&D Center in Tours, France, for example, works with its sister R&D Center in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and other research institutes to produce drought-resistant clones and large quantities of cocoa plantlets that are less vulnerable to disease, once they reach full productivity. Furthermore their yield is potentially greater than that of most trees currently planted in cocoa farms.
See also the Raw materials section for details on how we’re working with oat farmers and growers in Australia to increase the attractiveness of this crop while improving resilience to climatic extremes and disease,
Public policy engagement
We see the need to act on climate adaptation as a pre-competitive issue that requires the collaboration of all parties. We take part in public dialogue: for example, we are a partner of the Adaptation Private Sector Initiative of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ; we provided case studies on private sector engagement to the UN Environment Programme Green Economy Initiative and most recently the UNFCCC as part of an online tool that showcases how businesses and communities can adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.
We also showcased how we are helping farmers to adapt to climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha in November 2012.
Through the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative at Nestlé (SAIN), we also share best practices and lessons learned. Our Agriculture department co-ordinates the SAIN network and shares SAIN cases with all our sourcing specialists and represents us in inter-professional organizations such as the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative.