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Climate change is known as one of the biggest threats to our planet. Changing weather patterns, climates and environments is happening now – and looks set to get worse if nothing is done.

But Marie Françoise Diouf, Safety, Health and Environmental Sustainability Manager for Nestlé in the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), believes we can all do something about it.

It is vital to protect the planet for future generations. It is never too late to make a difference and making changes in-house can have a big difference.
Marie Françoise Diouf

Providing leadership

As part of protecting the planet, Marie Françoise explains that Nestlé is committed to provide climate change leadership to help reduce emissions along its value chain, strengthen its supply chain and help farmers be more resilient to climate challenges.

The company’s work in CWAR has resulted in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 29% per tonne of product since 2010. (pls put in infographic text by the side of the page to amplify)

This is because new technology, like the tri-generation power plant at the Agbara factory in Nigeria, generates electrical power as prime energy, while recycling the heat generated from its exhaust gases produces chilled and hot water. This has reduced CO2 emissions by about 5,000 tonnes per year since it was built in 2012.

Across its sites in the region, Nestlé has also cut its energy consumption by 29% per tonne of product since 2010.

At the Yopougon factory in Côte d’Ivoire, annual energy savings of over 7,200 GJ and 562 tonnes of CO2 emission reductions were achieved by using natural gas at the site. In Senegal, it saved 60,000 kWh of energy each year at the factory in Dakar – about 3% of the total energy consumption of the site – by installing solar panels to heat water.

Wastewater treatment

But Nestlé’s efforts don’t just stop there, Marie Françoise stresses. Treating wastewater plays an important part in addressing climate change in the region.

The company is treating the water it discharges effectively responsibly, and meeting the strict quality requirements to return it to the environment.

At the Douala factory in Cameroon, a plant to filter wastewater from its operations was installed. This ensures that only clean water is returned to the environment and produces minimal chemical oxygen demand.

In Ghana, a new system at the Tema factory is now being used to improve the quality of wastewater. The system also enables Nestlé to reuse 30% of effluent for non-core activities, reducing the total factory water usage by 10%.

Reducing waste

New and innovative ways to recycle waste are also being introduced by the company to reduce food loss and waste.

Improving the environmental performance of its packaging is also helping to cut down on food waste at Nestlé CWAR.

At its sites in Nigeria and Ghana, the company moved from using paper and laminate to monofilm in Milo Choco cubes, saving 60 tonnes of material each year. Nestlé Waters in Nigeria also renovated its 60cl and 150cl bottles, which resulted in a saving of 172 tonnes of PET bottles and 43 tonnes of PET caps in just one year.

These changes mean that Nestlé is not only working towards its goal of zero waste by 2030, it is making an impact to protect the environment. Using new technology and recycling waste shows that even the simplest things can help achieve bigger things.