Switching to cleaner fuels

Location: Philippines

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Aug 17, 2015, updated August 2015

Switching to cleaner fuels
UNUSED COFFEE GROUNDS FOR ENERGY:Using the factory’s by-products as a resource has environmental, social and economic benefits.

To target the reduction of GHG emissions from our direct operations, we place an emphasis on increasing our use of cleaner fuels, and investing in renewable energy sources such as spent coffee grounds, wood from sustainably managed forests, and solar and wind energy.

Renewable energy currently accounts for 14.7% of total onsite energy consumption of our factories.  Spent coffee grounds represent 24% of our renewable energy mix, compared with 27.4% for wood, and we purchase an estimated 24.1% of our electricity (6.6 PJ) from renewable sources.

Programme description

In the production of Nescafé at our Cagayan de Oro factory in the Philippines, about half the coffee beans used to go into the final product but the rest remained as unused coffee grounds. With a production of 1 000 tonnes of coffee grounds per month, a recovery option for coffee grounds was an opportunity to maximise their value, and optimise cost and environmental performance.

To seize this opportunity, Nestlé started a project to use coffee grounds as an energy resource.

The scheme, which became fully operational in 2012, has two components: 1) the coffee grounds, along with sawdust and cocoa shells from local industries, are used to produce steam, which is used for heating, reducing the need for non-renewable fossil fuels; 2) the production ash, a by-product of the process, is then combined with the sludge generated by the factory’s wastewater treatment facility and turned into an organic fertiliser.

Value to Society

As part of our commitment to providing climate change leadership, we work towards responsible water stewardship; zero waste; using energy and resources efficiently; switching to cleaner fuels; investing in renewable energy sources; optimising distribution networks; and helping to adapt agricultural and production systems to the changing climate.

Value to Nestlé

Using the factory’s by-products as a resource has environmental, social and economic benefits for our Cagayan de Oro factory, including:

  • Annual savings in waste hauling and dumping costs;
  • A 99% reduction of particulate matter and 300 tonnes of avoided SOx emissions;
  • 70 000 tonnes less waste a year (for Nestlé and nearby companies); and
  • 6 750 local farmers getting free organic fertiliser to improve soil fertility and increase yields.

As a result of this initiative, Nestlé won three awards at the Sustainable Business Awards Philippines in July 2014, in the Waste and Materials Productivity, Water Management and Supply Chain Management categories.

Next Steps

The next steps are to extend the project to the Lipa Integrated Coffee Center on Luzon Island, increase the nutrient content of the compost by adding milk by-products from the factory, and extend the composting approach to other commodities and factories.