VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. is signaling its pledge to tackle climate change with the announcement it is targeting zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As part of its strategy, Nestle said it will sign the “Business Ambition for 1.5°C” pledge, which aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face as a society,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestle. “It is also one of the greatest risks to the future of our business. We are running out of time to avoid the worst effects of global warming. That is why we are setting a bolder ambition to reach a net-zero future. Deploying Nestle’s global resources and industry know-how, we know we can make a difference at significant scale. Our journey to net zero has already started. Now, we are accelerating our efforts.”
To achieve its 2050 goals, Nestle has identified several specific actions it plans to take, including:
- Speeding up the transformation of its products in line with consumer trends and choices. Nestle said it plans to introduce more products with a better environmental footprint, including more plant-based food and beverage options. The company also said it will reformulate its products to use more climate-friendly ingredients. A move to alternative packaging materials also is in the works, the company said.
- Scaling up initiatives in agriculture to absorb more carbon. Nestle said it intends to strengthen its programs with farmers to restore land and limit greenhouse gas emissions. The company also plans to step up efforts to protect forests by replanting trees and enhancing biodiversity.
- Using 100% renewable electricity. While a third of Nestle’s facilities already use 100% renewable electricity, the company said it will continue to increase the percentage of plants that use energy from renewable sources.
Nestle’s pledge to tackle climate change came the same day the company inaugurated the Institute of Packaging Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland. The new institute allows Nestle to accelerate its efforts to bring functional, safe and environmentally-friendly packaging solutions to market. The institute will focus on refillable or reusable packaging, simplified packaging materials, recycled packaging materials, high-performance barrier papers as well as bio-based, compostable and biodegradable materials.
“Our vision is a world in which none of our packaging ends up in landfill or as litter,” Mr. Schneider said. “To achieve this we introduce reusable packaging solutions and pioneer environmentally-friendly packaging materials. Furthermore, we support the development of local recycling infrastructure and deposit schemes to help shape a waste-free world. The Nestle Institute of Packaging Sciences enables us to create a strong pipeline of sustainable packaging solutions for Nestle products across businesses and markets.”