Nestlé makes sustainability progress as 2030 emission target draws near

SWITZERLAND – Swiss multinational food and drink company, Nestlé, has highlighted measures it has implemented to be able to cut Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by 4 million tons since 2018.

The milestones which the company has already hit include a deforestation-free supply chain, a 100% transition to sustainable palm oil use in food production, and a migration of its entire car fleet to sustainable fuels or electricity.

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The food and beverage company revealed that it has started the march to becoming fully renewable as it targets to achieve that goal by making sure 800 sites in 187 countries are totally green by 2025.

The company says it is now working with more than 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to put sustainability into practice while also offering plant-based food and beverages and reformulating products to make them more environmentally friendly.

Other measures that are on track to be realized by 2025 include the use of fully recyclable and reusable packaging, cutting of virgin plastics in packaging by a third, use of all sustainable coffee and cocoa, and sourcing 20% of critical ingredients through regenerative farming.

Nestlé says it is gearing to cutting virgin plastics in packaging by a third by 2025 after an investment of US$30 million in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics in the US.

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Nestlé says it is also taking tangible actions to mitigate 14% of the GHG emissions associated with its forecasted 44 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030.

The tangible actions include evolving product offering to include more sustainable options, switching to plant-based ingredients – specifically in frozen meals and pizzas and dairy categories, implementing more sustainable, circular business models, and improving the energy efficiency of equipment such as machines.

To push the sustainability wheel forward, Nestlé is also committed to regenerative agriculture practices to improve soil health and preserve diverse ecosystems by 2025.

In an effort to meet its aim, Nestlé is also planning to make a major shift in the way it sources and produces dairy and livestock ingredients by investing in innovations and new business models.

In partnership with the Sustainability in Business Lab at ETH Zurich, Nestlé has developed a simulation tool to evaluate actions and costs for dairy, which represents most of its livestock emissions.

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Nestlé points out that emissions from its direct operations, known as Scope 1 and Scope 2, accounted for just 5% of its GHG emissions.

The vast majority of its GHG emissions (95%) come from activities in its supply chain, where it plans to focus most of its efforts to achieve the reduction of 44 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide emissions) by 2030

In setting the targets, Nestlé says it followed the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) criteria which provide a clearly defined pathway for coupling future-proof growth with reductions in GHG emissions.

The Swiss multinational company stated that progress toward its net zero will be measured against the company’s 2018 GHG emissions, 113 million tons, 92 of which were under its control.

The company calculated this baseline (2018 GHG emissions) and defined its footprint in partnership with the South Pole, an external consultant.

Nestlé reveals that it intends to also share its science-based methodology for calculating GHG emissions to help push new frontiers in climate data transparency for the food and beverage industry.

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