Nestle expands initiatives to reduce milk and dairy ingredient’s environmental footprint

SWITZERLAND – Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation, Nestle, is expanding initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of its largest raw material by volume, milk, and dairy ingredients.

The company said it is aiming to half its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint by 2030, under its goal of being net-zero emissions by 2050.

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Milk and dairy ingredients are used by Nestlé to produce dairy and infant nutrition products, ice cream, beverages, and confectionery.

Dairy being the group’s largest raw material input and also the biggest source of GHG emissions, Nestlé’s noted that dairy and livestock supply chains accounted for 34.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018.

With this statistic, the company has stated it is laying down plans in its supply chain to develop net-zero reference farms, testing new solutions that could be upscaled globally.

The company currently operates over 100 pilot projects with partners worldwide, including 20 farms it says are ‘already on a path to hit net zero emissions ‘in the near future.

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Nestlé’s pilot projects are scattered around the world, recognizing that the geographical and environmental diversity of global milk production means that a centralized research approach has limitations.

Mayank Trivedi, Head of the Dairy Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé pointed out that the implementation of full-scale projects and pilots in partnership with farmers and suppliers is to help Nestle scale up solutions aiming at lowering its environmental footprint.

He was also hopeful that it is possible to step up sustainability in dairy and even go to net zero as Nestle is taking a leadership role in advancing positive change with all those working along with it in the dairy supply chain.

The firm has committed to investing CHF1.2 billion (US$1.23 billion) over the next five years to spark regenerative agriculture adoption across its supply chain.

Regenerative agriculture focuses on soil health, biodiversity, and water preservation, with practices typically including efforts like cover cropping, no-till methods, crop rotation, mixed farming, and hedgerows to support biodiversity.

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Additionally, Nestlé has also committed itself to sharing its learnings as it scales up these efforts to support ‘wider industry transformation’.

Key reduction and mitigation efforts Nestle is employing in its sustainability efforts range from projects linked to feed and herd management, to re-thinking farm energy sources, boosting efficiency, and better manure management.

Nestle noted that in order to reduce dairy emissions, it is leveraging its scientific expertise and analytical capabilities, in collaboration with external partners to screen new science and technology solutions and assess the impact on the nutritional and sensorial quality of milk.

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