Safeguarding the environment
We are dependent upon forests, soils, the oceans and the climate to deliver a sustainable supply of resources for our operations. We have set commitments and objectives to use and manage resources sustainably by operating more efficiently, responding to climate change, reducing food loss and waste, and caring for water. Our ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations.
Creating shared value...
Natural resources are often a common good, for people today and for future generations.
For our business
We depend on nature for our raw materials, and for the conditions we need to grow them – including a predictable climate, healthy soils and healthy oceans, clean water and bees for pollination.
Why it matters
We depend on forests, soil, oceans and the climate – not only for a sustainable supply of ingredients, but also to maintain environmental conditions suitable for life. Yet, globally, resources are being used in an unsustainable manner. Indeed, if the whole world consumed at the same rate as the richest countries, we would need between three and five Earths to sustain consumption (Global Footprint Network). If these unsustainable habits go unchecked, the knock-on effects on people, natural habitats and animals will be drastic. Predictions state that if we take a business-as-usual approach to production, waste and diets, by 2050 the extinction rate could reach 1043 extinctions per million species (EAT Lancet (pdf, 4Mb)).
While we consume more resources, we are simultaneously producing more waste, with a predicted 3.4 billion tonnes of waste produced annually by 2050 (World Bank). Each year, approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the ocean (Plastic Oceans), while a third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost (FAO).
In 2018, we announced our ambition to make 100% of packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 in a bid to prevent any of our packaging ending up as litter in landfill or in the oceans. We made strong progress in this area in 2019, with the roll-out of recyclable and recycled packaging for several of our brands. Our first-in-the-industry packaging science institute will enable us to accelerate work on sustainable packaging solutions.
The topic of biodiversity is of particular importance for business in 2020, with both the 15th Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties and the IUCN World Conservation Congress taking place. Driven by this, the One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) coalition, of which Nestlé is a signatory, is an opportunity for Nestlé and other members to demonstrate leadership in biodiversity protection. Through this initiative, we will work with other member companies to accelerate transformational change in food and agriculture systems to protect biodiversity, for the benefit of people and planet alike. In 2019, we rolled out a new business approach, centered around protecting and restoring natural spaces and working with farmers to diversify their crops and land use.
Our work on safeguarding the environment contributes to SDGs 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17.