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Climate change: Nestlé focuses on regenerative agriculture, renewable energy

Nestlé says it is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 even as the company grows.

Paul Bulcke
Nestlé’s Chairman, Paul Bulcke

According to Nestle, actions are on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, planting hundreds of millions of trees within the next 10 years and completing the company’s transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity supply by 2025.

A statement by the company on Thursday, December 3, 2020 said that, as a signatory to the UN “Business Ambition for 1.5°C’’ pledge, Nestlé is one of the first companies to share its detailed, time-bound plan and to do so ahead of schedule.

It said that the company was also continuously increasing the number of “carbon neutral’’ brands.

Nestlé’s Chairman Paul Bulcke said: “The board recognises the strategic importance of taking decisive measures to address climate change.

“It supports accelerating and scaling up our work to ensure the long-term success of the company and to contribute to a sustainable future for generations to come.

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“This roadmap is the result of a complete review of Nestlé’s businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it.

“The company emitted 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which will serve as the baseline for measuring progress.’’

Also, Mark Schneider, Nestlé’s CEO said: “Tackling climate change can’t wait and neither can we. It is imperative for the long-term success of our business.

“We have a unique opportunity to address climate change, as we operate in nearly every country in the world and have the size, scale and reach to make a difference.

“We will work together with farmers, industry partners, governments, non-governmental organisations and our consumers to reduce our environmental footprint,’’ he said.

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Schneider noted that Nestlé’s work to get to net zero spans three main areas and the company was already working with over 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices.

“Such practices improve soil health and maintain and restore diverse ecosystems.

“In return, Nestlé is offering to reward farmers by purchasing their goods at a premium, buying bigger quantities and co-investing in necessary capital expenditures.

“Nestlé expects to source over 14 million tons of its 2/3 ingredients through regenerative agriculture by 2030, boosting demand for such goods.

“Nestlé is also scaling up its reforestation programme to plant 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years in the areas where it sources ingredients,’’ he said.

The Nestlé’s CEO added that more trees mean more shade for crops, more carbon removed from the atmosphere, higher yields and improved biodiversity and soil health.

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“The company’s primary supply chains of key commodities, like palm oil and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022.

“Through efforts like these, Nestlé is building longer term partnerships and providing farming communities with greater certainty and higher incomes.”

According to him, in its operations, Nestlé expects to complete the transition of its 800 sites in the 187 countries where it operates to 100 per cent renewable electricity within the next five years.

The company is switching its global fleet of vehicles to lower emission options and will reduce and offset business travel by 2022.

It is also implementing water protection and regeneration measures and tackling food waste in its operations.

By Vivian Ihechu

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