Improving the environmental performance of packaging

Location: Thailand

Impact Area

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

Product packaging is crucial to prevent food waste, guarantee quality and inform consumers.

We take a holistic approach to assessing the environmental impacts across the entire life cycle when designing our packaging. During the innovation and renovation design process, we aim for performance and functionality while striving to optimise weight and volume to avoid adverse environmental impacts related to over- or under-packaging.

Programme description

We have renovated the packaging for our Maggi dipping sauce bottles in Thailand, by reducing the amount of plastic used in the bottles and caps, optimising shipping cases and replacing the paper label with PET shrink film.

This has generated an annual net saving of 64 tonnes of plastic and 43 tonnes of paper and board.

Value to Society

Packaging design can make an important contribution to environmental performance across the product life cycle.  Over-packing can result in waste, while not packaging a product adequately exposes it to damage or contamination, resulting in food waste.  Finding the right balance can, therefore, be a challenging exercise, but with impactful results.

Value to Nestlé

Towards our global commitment to improve the environmental performance of our packaging, we avoided the use of 45 805 tonnes of packaging material by weight in 2014.

This is equivalent to a cost saving of CHF 77.4 million, in 2014.  We have committed to avoid the use of at least 100 000 tonnes of packaging material over the next three years to 2017.

Overall, the cumulative amount of packaging we have avoided since 1991 is more than 710 000 tonnes, saving CHF 1 261 million in packaging costs. The environmental benefits are also significant: over the last five years, we have avoided over 481 000 tonnes of CO2eq – equivalent to taking more than 104 000 cars off the road for a year.

Next Steps

In 2014, we replaced our ecodesign tool PIQET with EcodEX.  Having already evaluated 5742 projects and 16 507 scenarios, we continue to use our ecodesign tool to cover packaging and product development projects.