Sustainability

Within R&D, we're working to help meet Nestlé's 2030 ambition to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations.

We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our network, increasing our use of 100% renewable electricity and working to help reduce food loss and waste.

Developing plant-based foods and beverages, and more climate-friendly or carbon neutral products will also be key. Sustainable packaging and more sustainable crops developed through our plant science research, are other important focus areas.

Packaging Nesquik
 

   

Sustainable packaging


Our Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the first organization of its kind in the food industry, is instrumental in helping us meet our commitment that all Nestlé packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025.

In close collaboration with our global R&D network, academic partners, suppliers and startups – the Institute is evaluating the safety and functionality of various sustainable packaging materials, working with experts at our development centers, our suppliers, research institutions and startups.

Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences

 

Packaging plays a key role in ensuring food safety, but our solutions have to be recyclable or reusable. At our dedicated Institute, Nestlé experts are co-developing and testing new environmentally friendly packaging materials and systems – with our development centers, suppliers, research institutions and startups.

Lise Research Scientist

 

Research focus areas include packaging-free solutions, simplified packaging, functional paper, and recycled, biodegradable or compostable materials. New solutions will be tested in various product categories before being rolled out across Nestlé's global portfolio.

Recent innovations include recyclable paper packaging for Smarties and Nesquik.

Smarties in Recyclable Paper Packaging

 

Developing safe and convenient paper-based solutions for Smarties has required the pioneering of new materials and testing by Nestlé packaging experts at our R&D Center for confectionery in York, UK and the Swiss-based Institute of Packaging Sciences. We adapted our existing manufacturing lines to allow for the careful handling that is required for paper, while also ensuring recyclability across all new formats.

Louise Barrett Global R&D Lead, Confectionery

 

Our R&D activities are complemented by external scientific collaborations, innovation partnerships and targeted investments.

We're working with startup MIWA to pilot refillable dispensers for Purina cat food and Nescafé coffee. In partnership with Terracycle, we are rolling out Loop, a subscription home delivery service using customized, refillable packaging.

MIWA
 

Through a partnership with Danimer Scientific, Nestlé is working to develop a fully biodegradable plastic water bottle, and we're active within the NaturALL Bottle Alliance, a research consortium aiming to develop 100% bio-based bottles.

 

Plant science


Our plant science teams select and breed high performing varieties of coffee, cocoa and other crops with better yields, greater disease and pest resistance, improved taste and nutrition and a lower environmental footprint – to help farmers produce crops that are more sustainable.

Within plant science, we also do lab work to preserve genetic diversity and deliver better plants to farmers, work on ways of improving the quality and traceability of raw materials from farm to fork – using analytical and DNA fingerprinting tools – and develop practices to help farmers improve their productivity, crop quality and environmental protection.

Plantlets
 

The team also works with the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, to identify and develop potential new packaging technologies derived from plant-based sources.

While we focus on coffee and cocoa to select high-performing varieties with better yields, better adaptation to climate change, and quality, we're also running projects on cereals and legumes – to improve nutrition, taste and quality.

Fabrizio Arigoni Head of Plant Science, Nestlé Research