Safeguarding the environment
We are dependent upon forests, soils, the oceans and the climate to deliver a sustainable supply of resources for our operations. We have set commitments and objectives to use and manage resources sustainably by operating more efficiently, responding to climate change, reducing food loss and waste, and caring for water. Our ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations.
Creating shared value...
Natural resources are often a common good, for people today and for future generations.
For our business
We depend on nature for our raw materials, and for the conditions we need to grow them – including a predictable climate, healthy soils and healthy oceans, clean water and bees for pollination.
On land or at sea, our goal is to reduce our impact upon the world around us, using resources responsibly and preserving habitats where important. To achieve this, we operate in a way that continually reduces our impact on the world around us. Beyond our operations, we are collaborating with industry and other stakeholders to make improvements across society.
Why it matters
If the whole world consumed natural resources at the same rate as the richest countries, we would need between three and five planet Earths to meet demand (Global Footprint Network). This unsustainable demand for raw materials, coupled with climate change, is encroaching on natural habitats and contributing to the ongoing decline in species populations. The extinction rate we see today is estimated by the WWF to be between 1000 and 10 000 times higher than would occur naturally if humans weren’t around.
The amount of waste we create is also rising alarmingly. The quantity of solid waste generated each year – much of which finds its way into water bodies and oceans – is expected to reach 2.59 billion tonnes by 2030 (World Bank (pdf, 11Mb)) and to continue climbing throughout the century. In lower-income countries, 93% of this waste is discarded through open dumping. Even a third of the food we produce is wasted or lost (FAO). With spiraling consumption, mismanagement of solid waste and inefficient production processes impacting the world around us, we need to transform how we use and reuse the world’s natural resources.
We have partnered with Airbus and TFT to implement Starling, a satellite-based service, to monitor 100% of our global palm oil supply chains from 2019. The program will be extended to cover pulp and paper and soya supply chains at a later stage.
To protect the health of soil, we are working with farmers in the US to reduce fertilizer run-off. And increasing the sourcing of organic ingredients, which leads to improved soil health.
Oceans are important for Nestlé, both for the seafood we source from them and their key role in addressing climate change. Unsustainable fishing, plastics and agricultural run-off are all placing stresses on oceans. Through responsibly sourcing seafood, investing in waste infrastructure to stop plastic leakage, supporting the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, working with farmers to manage soils so that there is no excess run-off, and our new ambition to have 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025, we are acting to reduce the stresses upon the ocean.
Beyond our operations, we work with other stakeholders to raise awareness, identify risks and agree actions, from regulatory intervention to participation in hands-on activities. Through partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives, we have helped develop guidelines to reduce food waste and we’re working on a project to introduce simple, standardized food date labels by 2020.
Our work on safeguarding the environment contributes to SDGs 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17.
Our material issues are those that have the most impact on the economy, society and the environment. See how we map our material issues to the UN SDGs (pdf, 537Kb)
We’re taking action to protect our forests, our oceans and our soil.