Ecolaboration, the Nespresso platform for sustainable innovation

Location: Global

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012

Ecolaboration, the Nespresso platform for sustainable innovation
ECOLABORATION:Nespresso collection points where customers can bring back their capsules.

Ecolaboration, launched in June 2009, is the Nespresso platform for sustainable innovation, and our latest example of Creating Shared Value throughout the value chain.

Programme description

Through Ecolaboration, Nespresso has consolidated all its sustainability efforts in coffee sourcing, capsule recycling and energy-efficient machines into one concerted programme, and committed itself to meet three targets by 2013:

  • To source 80% of its coffee from its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms
  • To put systems in place to triple its capacity to recycle used capsules to 75%
  • To reduce the carbon footprint required to produce a cup of Nespresso by 20%

With an average annual growth rate of 30% since 2000 and sales of CHF 2.77 billion in 2009, Nespresso is the fastest-growing “billionaire brand” of the Nestlé Group. It also has an established track record of sustainability, establishing the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in 2003 with Rainforest Alliance, through which only the highest-quality beans are sourced and where farmers are paid a premium. In 2009, almost 50% of the total green coffee beans Nespresso purchased came from its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, and Nespresso has committed to increase this to 80% by 2013.

Ecolaboration builds on all such activities, taking them a step further and extending the approach across the value chain for a broader and deeper level of sustainable success. Through this new framework, Nespresso will formalise its relationships with technical experts, NGOs, business partners and other key stakeholders, sharing best practice and collaborating on new ideas and innovations to improve the sustainability performance of Nespresso.

Value to Society

Creating Shared Value through the value chain

Value to Nestlé

As it evolves, Ecolaboration will involve collaboration and innovation in each area of focus, to help Nespresso meet its targets:

  • Coffee sourcing: Ecolaboration encompasses even deeper collaboration with Rainforest Alliance and takes the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program to the next level, with Nespresso committing to source 80% of its coffee from its unique Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, including Rainforest Alliance certification of the farms, by 2013
  • Coffee capsules: Nespresso is committed to build its capacity to collect used capsules for recycling. With the support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other partners like Rio Tinto Alcan, Nespresso is also working to promote a standard for more sustainable aluminium sourcing (Responsible Aluminium Standard)
  • Nespresso machines: the VerTech Network brings together machine suppliers, engineers and sustainable technology experts to design the energy-efficient Nespresso machines of the future

Next Steps

Nespresso Club Members and the public can access more information about Ecolaboration targets and initiatives at: Through the site, communication in boutiques and in the Nespresso Club magazine, consumers can learn more about the role they can play, whether it’s returning capsules for recycling or using their Nespresso machines efficiently. Media and academics can also find more details at