Within R&D, we're driving science and technology and innovation to help meet Nestlé's 2030 ambition to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations, and to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Some of the key actions we’re involved with include transforming our portfolio to launch more products with a better environmental impact that contribute to a healthier diet, scaling-up initiatives in agriculture to support regenerative agriculture and reduce emissions, and using 100% electricity on all Nestlé sites.
Measuring carbon impact
R&D experts work to develop processes and tools that help us estimate our overall carbon footprint within specific category or for a certain brand, and to make choices that will reduce it. This work was integral to the recent announcement, for example, that KitKat will become a carbon neutral brand by 2025.
In a major breakthrough, Nestlé plant scientists recently discovered unique low carbon and drought resistant coffee varieties through classical non-GMO breeding that deliver higher yields and an up to 30% reduction in CO2 – to reduce the carbon footprint associated with coffee consumption. Other new low carbon, disease- and drought resistant coffee plant varieties are in the pipeline.
Given that dairy agriculture is a major emissions contributor, we're collaborating with universities, suppliers and startups to explore technologies that could substantially lower milk's carbon footprint.
For those of us with a taste for plant-based milk alternatives, we’re also helping to develop low carbon brands such as Wunda, which is carbon neutral from launch and certified by the Carbon Trust.
Across all Nestlé's product categories, R&D experts help develop and introduce new process technologies to help lower emissions. For example, proprietary coffee roasting technologies enable us to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions and increase factory capacity.
Indeed, we're working to reduce climate emissions across all R&D sites, through measures including the optimization of our electricity and thermal energy use, targeting zero waste and reducing emissions in our restaurants.
Elsewhere, we're providing guidance to product developers on lower carbon recipe design, valorizing agricultural side streams to develop products that reduce food waste and upcycle nutrients, and launching new lower carbon products such as our delicious plant-based foods.
We're also accelerating the shift towards sustainable packaging, by developing new, more environmentally friendly packaging materials. Recent innovations include recyclable paper packaging for Nescafé 3-in-1, Maggi, Smarties and Nesquik.
This work is being driven by Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the first organization of its kind in the food industry. It is instrumental in helping us to 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.
Research focus areas include packaging-free solutions, simplified packaging, functional paper, and recycled, biodegradable or compostable materials. New solutions are tested in various product categories before being rolled out across Nestlé's global portfolio.