The Positive Cup: Nespresso ploughs £330m into sustainable development

Nestle's coffee brand is accelerating its sustainability focus with the launch of an ambitious new programme to become 'carbon neutral' by 2020.

The Positive Cup programme will create significant benefits for the business, society and the environment

The Positive Cup programme will create significant benefits for the business, society and the environment

The new sustainability programme, entitled The Positive Cup, was announced earlier today (27 August) by Nespresso's CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin. It introduces several major initiatives that Duvoisin says will 'create significant benefits for the business, society and the environment'.

"Our sustainability approach has always been designed to do more than simply minimise impacts," he said. "The development of even more innovative programs with our partners demonstrates our commitment to creating shared value and generating positive impacts for all stakeholders across the entire value chain."

The Positive Cup program is based on an investment of 500m Swiss francs (£329m) over the next six years. Part of this investment will be used to establish a new Sustainable Development Fund, which will play a key role in channelling resources into specific projects in the areas of coffee sourcing and social welfare; aluminium sourcing, use and disposal; and resilience to climate change.

Carbon Insetting

In terms of carbon neutrality, Nespresso has specifically committed to '100% carbon insetting' by 2020. The company plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme, and reduce its overall carbon footprint by a further 10%.

In addition, Nespresso wants to be using 100% sustainably sourced coffee and 100% sustainably managed aluminium by 2020.

"Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale," added Duvoisin. "It allows us to maintain particularly close relationships and have a direct dialogue with our consumers and Club Members. "As a result, we have a unique opportunity to strongly engage with our Members to achieve our Positive Cup commitments, in particular as it relates to capsule recycling. Nespresso cannot achieve its objectives alone. We call on our Club Members to actively take part in furthering our recycling efforts."

VIDEO: Nespresso's Sustainability Programme

Today's announcement comes as part of the second annual meeting of the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board, which brought together long-time Nespresso brand ambassador George Clooney and partners including The Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International and TechnoServe.

Exceeding goals

The company has also placed an extra emphasis on staff engagement with its sustainability programme. Earlier this summer, Nespresso's head of sustainability Jérôme Perez explained that 'there is now a very real need to ensure both current and future business students understand the importance of sustainability for the future success of business'. Read our exclusive interview with Perez here.

Nespresso has met and surpassed its 2013 sustainability commitments, set out in 2009. The company has exceeded its goal of sourcing 80% of its coffee from its AAA Sustainable Quality Program, putting in place the capacity to recycle over 75% of Nespresso capsules sold worldwide and reducing the carbon footprint of a cup of Nespresso coffee by 20%.

The company also today announced that it will meet its target to increase sales by £329m this year.

Luke Nicholls


fairtrade | george clooney | nestle | sustainable development


Waste & resource management
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