For Nestlé, manufacturing includes all the processes we need to turn raw materials into safe, nutritious products for our consumers. We achieve this through our Nestlé Environmental Management System (NEMS), which helps us continually improve our products, applying the methods learned through the Nestlé Continuous Excellence (NCE) initiative.
The main goals of NCE are known as the ‘3Cs’:
- Excelling in compliance, both legal and internal;
- Delighting our customers, through sharing our sustainability aims and achievements in brand communications; and
- Delivering competitive advantage, by progressing towards zero waste, and improving water and energy efficiency.
By implementing NCE practices, we improve the efficiency, quality and environmental performance of our manufacturing.
Our 2030 ambition is to go for zero environmental impact in our operations. Efficiency in our manufacturing is critical to achieving our ambition. Our life-cycle assessments (LCAs) inform us on how much energy we use in the manufacturing of our products. It is at this stage of the value chain that we can do the most to directly manage and improve our energy performance, and we take every opportunity to do so.
Guided by the NCE initiative, we seek greater efficiency in each of the following five dimensions:
- Availability; and
We are always looking for ways to improve the processes we have in place, to make better use of the resources we consume.
Reducing our energy consumption
Over the last 10 years, we have already made real progress, lowering direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 38.9% per tonne of product while increasing production by 46%. We are on track to achieve our science-based 2020 objective, as we have reduced GHG emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) per tonne of product in every product category, achieving an overall reduction of 10.8% in our manufacturing operations versus 2010.
We could achieve these emission reductions by saving energy, improving operations efficiency and switching to cleaner fuels, including to renewable energy. Renewable energy currently accounts for 12.1% of our factories’ total energy use, and 29.6% (8.1 petajoules ) of our electricity purchased is renewable.
Environmental Target Setting programme
Our Environmental Target Setting (ETS) programme is designed to help our factory teams improve resource efficiency. To support this ambition, we have developed a web-based tool, Do It Yourself, which enables each site to identify and adopt energy- and water-saving opportunities that have already been successful elsewhere in the Group. Examples of these opportunities in 2016 include:
- Switzerland: We opened Switzerland’s largest agricultural biogas facility next to our Henniez bottling plant. The new plant uses 25 000 tonnes of agricultural fertilizer from 27 local farms, to which will be added 3800 tonnes of organic waste raw material generated by Nespresso and Nescafé.
- UK: We signed a wind farm partnership in June 2016 with Community Wind Power (CWP) in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The nine-turbine wind farm, which will be completed in 2017, will meet 50% of Nestlé UK’s needs.
Reducing water withdrawals
Nestlé has made five public commitments on water, designed to guide management and the whole company in collective efforts to reach specific objectives. Our 2020 ambition is to reduce direct water withdrawals per tonne of product in every product category, achieving an overall reduction of 35% in our manufacturing operations since 2010.
Investing in our factories
When we build, construct and renovate our factories, we always consider environmental sustainability. We invested a total of CHF 82.2 million in our factories in 2016
Examples of investments we’ve made include:
- Italy: Nestlé Waters opened a new bottled water plant in 2016 for its Vera Naturae brand that showcases ‘smart’ technology, deriving all its energy from environmental sources and generating zero CO2 emissions; and
- Brazil: Our Nescafé Dolce Gusto facility in Montes Claros, Brazil, received a landmark Triple Zero award in 2016: zero water withdrawn, zero waste to disposal and zero net GHG emissions. The facility achieved the latter by using biomass from sustainably managed sources and offsetting the remaining emissions.