Nestle outlines roadmap to net-zero by 2050, backed with more than £2bn of investment

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The multinational food and beverage giant has today (3 December) published a net-zero roadmap detailing the scope of the new targets and its plans for meeting them. The targets have been approved in line with 1.5C by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Included in the roadmap are plans to switch to 100% renewable electricity in global operations by 2025. Nestle has been using 100% renewable grid-supplied electricity in the UK and Ireland since 2016 and has set up onsite generation arrays in several key markets already. But it operates in 187 countries – many of which have poorer renewable electricity provisions.

Other pledges for operations include offsetting business travel emissions by 2022, improving water efficiency, investing in electric vehicles (EVs) and reducing food waste. Moreover, many of Nestle’s brands have set pre-2030 targets for carbon neutrality, including Garden Gourmet, Garden of Life, Nespresso, S.Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna. Offsetting will play a role in reaching these commitments.

Spotlight on the supply chain

But the other main focus of the plan is in the supply chain. Like most large businesses, Nestle records the bulk of its emissions in Scope 3 (indirect) sources. Its net-zero roadmap reiterates the fact that the business is already working with more than half a million farmers and 150,000 suppliers to help them transition to regenerative agriculture. These methods are designed to mimic natural cycles, improving soil health and biodiversity.

The roadmap reveals that Nestle is on track to source more than 14 million tonnes of goods from regenerative farms by 2030. The business believes that large companies have a key role to play in boosting demand for such goods, while supporting the scaling up of supply. Other corporates with regenerative agriculture commitments include Timberland and Patagonia.

Nestle has also confirmed plans to scale up its reforestation programme; the roadmap contains a commitment to plant 20 million trees every year through to 2030, in the regions from which it sources. The company had already committed to deforestation-free supply chains for key commodities by 2022 and recently joined the Consumer Goods Forum’s ‘Forest Positive Coalition of Action’ as a founding member, along with the likes of Mars, General Mills, Danone and Unilever.

“With nearly two-thirds of our emissions coming from agriculture, it is clear that regenerative agriculture and reforestation are the focal points of our path to net zero,” Nestle’s executive VP and head of operations Magdi Batato said. “These efforts will reduce emissions and improve biodiversity at scale. We will also continue to eliminate emissions from our operations and make improvements in our product portfolio. We have our work cut out for us and we are committed to delivering.”

Nestle expects to invest 3.2bn Swiss Francs (£2.65bn) through to 2025 to achieve its climate commitments.

Sarah George

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