Nestlé reaffirms its commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices by ensuring that its products are not only tastier and healthier, but are also better for the environment along their value chain.
The company is making headway by using sustainably managed and renewable resources where it can, using natural resources efficiently and continuously working towards a target of zero waste.
In Central and West Africa, Nestlé is specifically aiming to reduce water consumption, cut energy consumption and decrease waste for disposal.
World Environment Day
Nestlé’s efforts to boost environmentally sustainable business practices highlight World Environment Day on June 5.
WED is a global day of recognition to raise awareness and action for the environment led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
This year’s theme ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.’ focuses on living sustainably and doing more and better with less.
As part of Nestlé’s environmental commitments, the company has pledged to treat the water it discharges effectively.
By 2016, it aims to implement the new and strengthened Nestlé Environmental Requirements for water quality and effluent discharge in all factories to help protect the environment.
At its Douala factory in Cameroon, an innovative treatment and effluent polishing plant was installed in 2014 to filter wastewater from its operations. As a result, it ensures that only clean water is returned to the environment and produces minimal chemical oxygen demand.
The company invested CHF 1.1 million in an ultra filtration – reverse osmosis system at its Tema factory in Ghana to improve the quality of wastewater, which reuses a minimum of 30% of water for non-core activities, and cuts water consumption by 10%.
As a result, these have helped Nestlé reduce water consumption by 37% across its operations in Central and West Africa between 2007 and 2014.
Nestlé has committed to raise awareness on water conservation and improve access to water and sanitation across its value chain.
By 2016, 350,000 beneficiaries in local communities will have access to water, sanitation or hygiene projects around its manufacturing facilities and in Farmer Connect areas.
In Nigeria, a new toilet facility with a borehole powered by solar energy was built near its Agbara factory for primary school pupils.
Nestlé has also renewed its long-standing collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2014 by contributing CHF 5 million over five years to improve access to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in rural areas. The project looks set to be extended to Ghana.
Nestlé aims to deliver on its commitment to improve resource efficiency in its operations.
By 2015, the company seeks to achieve zero waste for disposal in 10% of its factories and reduce energy consumption per tonne of product in every product category to achieve an overall reduction of 25% since 2005.
At its Yopougon factory in Côte d’Ivoire, Nestlé is using new and innovative ways to recycle waste. For example, the leftover waste product of cassava, which is transformed into cassava flakes at the site, is turned into compost along with the canteen waste. Used cartons are also recycled into egg crates.
At its Agbara factory in Nigeria, spent grains generated from sorghum, millet, maize and soya during processing are sent to silo, discharged to trucks and then sold to farmers for use as livestock feed.
In Senegal, the company is using solar panels to heat water which are used in its operations at its Dakar factory, resulting in an annual saving of over 60,000 kWh of energy.
These are just some of the examples that have helped Nestlé reduce energy consumption by 25% across its operations in Central and West Africa between 2007 and 2014.
Nestlé has also pledged to improve the environmental performance of its packaging.
By 2017, it aims to continue systematically analysing and optimizing its packaging portfolio, avoiding the use of at least 100,000 tonnes of packaging material.
In Nigeria, Nestlé Waters has already made progress by using lightweight packaging. In 2014, it renovated 60cl and 150cl bottles, which resulted in a saving of 172 tonnes of PET bottles and 43 tonnes of PET caps over a period of 12 months.
The company has also committed to provide climate change leadership.
By 2015, it aims to reduce direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per tonne of product by 35% since 2005, resulting in an absolute reduction of GHG emissions.
Across Nestlé’s operations in Central and West Africa, the company has already reduced emissions of GHG by 26% between 2007 and 2014.
It is also making steady progress in adapting to climate change by using its scientific expertise and resources to help improve crop resilience.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, farmers need to broaden their crop genetic base and use new crop varieties to adjust to climate change.
Nestlé’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire is working with its R&D Centre in Tours, France and other research institutes as part of the Nescafé Plan and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan to produce drought-resistant varieties of cocoa and coffee plantlets, which are less vulnerable to disease and result in greater yields.