Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill

Location: United Kingdom

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Apr 4, 2013, updated April 2013

Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill
Aiming for zero waste:A worker at our York factory separating waste material for recycling.

Our ambition is to continually reduce the environmental impact of our products, and driving down waste is one way we are working towards this goal.

In the UK, our goal is to achieve zero waste to landfill from each of our factories by 2015 and the full recovery of unavoidable by-products.

Programme description

By the end of 2012, half of our 14 UK factories had been externally verified as sending zero waste to landfill, starting with Girvan, in Scotland, and Dalston, in Cumbria, which both achieved this status in 2010, five years ahead of target. In other factories, waste has already been significantly reduced, bringing with it reductions in energy consumption and transportation requirements.

At our Tutbury factory, the zero waste approach includes dedicating an area to each of the factory’s 16 waste streams so that the materials can be carefully observed and segregated. As well as training and engaging employees and contractors in the waste strategy, we have invested in balers to compact materials and therefore reduce the transport footprint.

At our Fawdon factory, near Newcastle, new techniques and innovations are tested before being implemented elsewhere. We piloted an on-site anaerobic digestion system, which turns liquid and solid waste into energy and we plan to have a full size digester installed in 2013. This will enable us to make better use of waste, reduce what we discharge to the sewer and cut the factory’s electricity consumption by 8.9%, resulting in a 3% reduction in total energy.

In 2011, we donated 1,095,200 meals worth of food to FareShare, from our surplus, which the charity then redistributed to homeless, disadvantaged or vulnerable people across the UK. In the process, this saved 460 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food going to landfill.

Note: ‘Zero Waste’ excludes a minimum amount of hazardous waste that is sent to specialist processing sites that ensure its safest disposal.

Value to Society

As a result of our Zero waste initiative:

  • We are now taking fewer resources and energy from nature, protecting the environment
  • Less waste, means a cleaner environment for everyone
  • Donating fit-for-consumption food to FareShare from our surplus helps feed to homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the UK

Value to Nestlé

  • In reducing our waste we have improved efficiency and lowered costs
  • All staff have been trained in our waste strategy – skills that will bring business benefits for many years to come
  • Using recovered materials has helped lower costs, as well as reducing our resource and energy consumption

Next Steps

Our goal is to achieve zero waste to landfill from each of our factories by 2015 and the full recovery of unavoidable by-products in the UK. While we have made great progress towards this goal and half our factories have already achieved zero waste to landfill, the project will continue until these goals are met in all factories.