Nestlé has outlined its top sustainability priorities for its Europe, Middle East, and North Africa region, in order to achieve its 2050 net-zero climate goals.
The global food producer will focus on implementing change in areas such as sustainably sourcing of coffee and cocoa, developing healthy soil practices, and creating net-zero dairy farms.
According to Nestlé, nearly two-thirds of its total emissions are linked to agriculture. To reduce these emissions, the group will seek to alter methods of food production used by suppliers.
For example, farming practices will incorporate more regenerative agriculture techniques to benefit nature and improve farmer incomes.
Marco Settembri, Nestlé CEO for Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, referred to a number of changes the group made to achieve its net-zero goal, saying the group's "projects on healthy soils, low emission dairy farms, and sustainably sourced cocoa and coffee show promising outcomes. We are confident that those collaborations with farmers and suppliers can be extended to reach our net-zero climate goal."
Examples of the changes made include using as close to zero pesticides as possible, and applying techniques such as permanent soil cover, crop rotation, and reduced tillage. Such activities help keep more carbon and water locked up in the ground and create healthier soils.
Nestlé aims to sustainably source 100% of its cocoa and coffee by 2025, and is also rolling out reforestation plans, such as its plan to conserve and restore Cavally Forest in Côte d'Ivoire.
Katja Seidenschnur, Nestlé sustainability director for Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, believes that the key to achieving its goals is to "work with farmers, shift our portfolio to more plant-based products and introduce carbon-neutral brands."
The group aims to have all 800 global Nestlé sites using 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
It already makes use of 100% renewable electricity in 130 factories across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, it said.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.