Managing environmental sustainability

KitKat on pack product information
OUR GOAL: Making tastier and healthier Nestlé products better for the environment.

Our goal is that Nestlé products will not only be tastier and healthier, but also better for the environment along their value chain. It’s a challenge we approach by identifying areas for improvement at every stage from farm to consumer and beyond.

We are determined to live up to the expectations our employees and external stakeholders have about our environmental responsibility and practices. To build trust, we integrate environmental sustainability into our communications. We educate all employees to live by the Nestlé business principle on environmental sustainability. And we engage with stakeholders, develop key partnerships and nurture constructive relations with organisations that are critical to our environmental performance.

Our progress

We reissued The Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability (pdf, 3Mb) and engaged the business in developing our 2016 strategic master plan for environmental sustainability.

We were externally recognised for our efforts in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Series 2013 (best performer in our sector group), in the CDP Climate Disclosure Leadership Index and the Climate Performance Leadership Index 2013 (best performer in all sectors combined).

In 2013, 12% of Nestlé factories achieved zero waste for disposal - ahead of the targeted 10% by 2015.

  • In 2013, we reissued The Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability, first launched in 1991, to better reflect our evolving ambition, and the contribution of environmental sustainability to Creating Shared Value.

    We have reissued it with a commitment by the CEO to environmentally sustainable business practices. Paul Bulcke states in this commitment: “Our goal is that our products will not only be tastier and healthier but also better for the environment along their value chain.”

    The reissued policy includes the steps we will take to meet this commitment, through a product life-cycle approach that involves our partners, from farms to consumers and beyond.

    As well as additional information on governance and Nestlé Continuous Excellence, it identifies six new focus areas:

    • Water preservation
    • Natural resources efficiency
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Air emissions reduction
    • Climate change adaptation, and
    • Zero waste

    The Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability is complemented with more detailed commitments on a number of key issues:

    • The Nestlé Commitment on Climate Change
    • The Nestlé Commitment on Biofuels
    • The Nestlé Commitment on Water Stewardship
    • The Nestlé Commitment on Natural Capital
    • The Nestlé Commitment on Deforestation and Forest Stewardship
  • The Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability is implemented through the Nestlé Environmental Management System. Management is accountable for its implementation within their area of responsibility. The system is designed to improve environmental performance, to help ensure compliance with all relevant requirements and enable our factories to achieve ISO 14001:2004 certification.

    To ensure consistent and coherent implementation worldwide, Nestlé submits all its manufacturing sites to ISO 14001 certification by independent accredited bodies and is expanding this programme to all its units.

    By the end of 2013, we had achieved ISO 14001:2004 certification at 601 of our sites.

  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is an internationally recognised method for assessing the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle. Understanding these impacts is key to improving the environmental performance of our products.

    We seek to improve the environmental performance of our products by optimising their environmental impact from the earliest stages of their design. This means thinking about everything from agricultural production to what happens at the end of a product’s life.

    To help, we have been pioneering new, more user-friendly methods and tools to help designers use LCA methods and identify opportunities for more sustainable design. We have also identified the environmental hotspots to be addressed as a priority.

Related content

Find out more in our Creating Shared Value full report