Nestle steps up climate change leadership with new CSR commitments

Multinational food and beverage company Nestlé has teamed up with a number of organisations and made a host of new CSR commitments to help accelerate its sustainability strategy.

At this week’s UN Climate Summit in New York, the company endorsed one of the world’s largest coalition on climate issues – Caring for Climate – as part of its long-standing efforts to further provide climate change leadership. 

Speaking at the summit, Nestlé’s executive vice president and head of operations José Lopez said: “The Caring for Climate initiative is fully aligned with our own explicit commitments, which reflect our respect for society in which we operate, respect for the environment, respect for the future generations.” 

“Climate change must be addressed through mutually beneficial collaboration and multi-stakeholder channels to be effective ultimately.” 

Wildflower meadows 

In a separate announcement this week, Nestlé revealed it has teamed up with The Wildlife Trust in a campaign to involve local communities around its factories in protecting precious wildflower meadows, which have declined by 97% since the 1930s. The campaign supports Nestlé’s commitment to create the equivalent of 250 football pitches of butterfly-friendly wildflower meadows by 2015. 

Nestlé UK & Ireland’s head of environmental sustainability Inder Poonaji said: “This partnership is an important milestone in our butterfly meadow journey. It is important to us to enhance the work we have already started by developing schemes which engage communities and schools local to our sites, enabling children to get closer to nature. We’re keen for them to understand its true value through experiencing wildflower meadows and the role they play in pollination, for example.” 

Pilot projects of the new initiative between Nestlé Waters and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust called ‘Get Better with Nature,’ which aims to improve people’s understanding of the benefits of nature, have begun in Buxton, Derbyshire following the successful creation of a wildflower meadow at Nestlé Waters’ site in Buxton, with numerous species’ of butterfly and moth being spotted. Nestlé’s factories in Dublin and Askeaton hope to begin their wildflower meadow creation by the end of this year. 

There are also plans to establish an education programme at a local school in Fawdon where children will be taught the importance of wildflower meadows and why nature matters.

Clinton Global Initiative 

Rounding off a week of CSR commitments, Nestlé also announced a two-year partnership with Global Good, a collaborative effort between Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures, in a set of promises to improve the productivity and lives of smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa. 

The ‘Clinton Global Initiative Commitments to Action’ campaign aspires to increase the agricultural productivity of East African farmers through improved technology and the use of specially designed milk containers called ‘Mazzi’ to maximise quality and quantity of milk. 

In August, edie reported on the acceleration of Nestlé’s sustainability focus through the launch of ‘The Positive Cup’ programme, intended to help Nestlé’s coffee brand Nespresso become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2020. 
And last month, the brand maintained its overall score of 88% in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, remaining one of the most sustainable food products companies globally.

Infographic: Nestlé’s sustainability

Lois Vallely and Luke Nicholls

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