Climate change is one of society's greatest challenges. It is also one of the greatest risks to the future of our business. Solving it requires all of us to act with great urgency. Nestlé may be only one player, but we have the size, scale and reach to influence many more and to inspire collective action.
How are you accelerating your action to tackle climate change?
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to society, and to the future of our business. It will affect water availability and biodiversity, but also the quantity and quality of food grown.
We are using our size, scale and reach to tackle climate change and make a big difference. Building on a decade of action, we will halve our greenhouse gas emission by 2030 and reach net zero by 2020 – even as our company grows.
Our actions focus on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, planting 20 million trees every year for next 10 years and completing our transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Additionally, we are continuously increasing the number of 'carbon neutral' brands.
We expect to invest a total of CHF 3.2 billion over the next five years to move faster, including CHF 1.2 billion to spark regenerative agriculture across our supply chain.
How will you achieve your net zero emissions ambition by 2050?
In December 2020, we shared Nestlé's Net Zero Roadmap (pdf, 10Mb). This detailed and time-bound plan lays out our actions to tackle climate change.
This roadmap results from a complete review of our businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it. We found Nestlé emitted 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. Now we know the extent, we know the road ahead.
Our work to get to net zero spans three main areas:
- We are already working with over 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices. Such practices improve soil health and maintain and restore diverse ecosystems.
- In return, we are offering to reward farmers by purchasing their goods at a premium, buying bigger quantities and co-investing in necessary capital expenditures.
- We expect to source over 14 million tons of our ingredients through regenerative agriculture by 2030, boosting demand for such goods.
- We are also scaling up our reforestation program to plant 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years in the areas where we source ingredients. More trees mean more shade for crops, more carbon removed from the atmosphere, higher yields and improved biodiversity and soil health.
- Our primary supply chains of key commodities, like palm oil and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022.
- We expect to complete the transition of our 800 sites in the 187 countries where we operate to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
- We are switching our global fleet of vehicles to lower emission options, and we will reduce and offset business travel by 2022.
- We are also implementing water protection and regeneration measures and tackling food waste in our operations.
- We are continuously expanding our offering of plant-based food and beverages and reformulating products to make them more environmentally friendly.
- We are increasing the number of 'carbon neutral' brands we offer to give consumers the opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change.
- Garden Gourmet plant-based food as well as Garden of Life supplements will achieve carbon neutrality by 2022; Sweet Earth plant-based food, among other brands, will do the same by 2025. These come on top of Nespresso, S.Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2022, with the rest of the Nestlé Waters category achieving the same by 2025.
What does 'net zero' emissions actually mean?
Achieving a balance between emissions and removals for all greenhouse gases within a company's value chain over a specific time period. Avoided emissions and offsets are not counted as part of the commitment.
What does 'regenerative agriculture' actually mean?
Regenerative agriculture refers to a range of techniques that help keep carbon and water in the ground. It does this through safeguarding soil health and providing natural habitats for flora and fauna. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the term encompasses a wide range of farming and grazing practices. The main interventions consist of 'no-till' agriculture which avoids exposing the soil to the atmosphere and subsequent degradation. It also covers improving other measures like integrating the management of crops with livestock and reducing the overall use of pesticides and other chemicals on-farm. Regenerative agriculture can help boost farmer incomes through higher yields and more resilience to a changing climate.
What was Nestlé doing to tackle climate change before your 2050 commitment?
Our commitment build on a decade of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligned over the last four years with science-based targets to keep the temperature increase below 2C.
Since 2014, the reduction of greenhouse gases across our value chain is equivalent to taking 1.2 million cars off the road.
Over the past ten years we’ve decreased by more than one third the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our factories per kilo of product.
We are committed to lowering the GHG emissions associated with the production and distribution of our food and beverages, by improving energy efficiency, using cleaner fuels and investing in renewable sources.
For example: switching from long-distance road transportation to rail or short-sea shipping in Europe, opting for wind power to supply energy to our factories in Mexico, and installing wood-fired boilers at some of our factories in France.
We've also stepped-up our efforts to ensure responsible sourcing of raw materials and made significant progress towards our zero deforestation. In 2013, we adopted the Nestlé commitment on climate change as an appendix to our Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability (pdf, 300Kb).
Will Nestlé continue to advocate for wider climate action?
We know that we cannot achieve net zero alone. We will continue working with farmers, suppliers, industry, employees, consumers, governments, NGOs and communities where we operate, to forge new and deeper levels of engagement on climate issues.
We will transparently advocate for clear and fair standards and regulation that support sector wide efforts, and for necessary public policies to enable the transformation of economic and social systems for a net zero carbon future.