Resource efficiency


Resource efficiency

What is the issue?

The world’s natural resources are finite. To preserve our limited resources and reduce the environmental impact caused by waste, we must learn to do more with less.

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Why is it important?

We believe that business growth and resource efficiency go hand in hand. Being more efficient reduces our dependency on limited natural resources, as well as reducing our environmental footprint by minimising the amount of waste we burn or send to landfill. Efficiency is also good for business, helping to cut costs and improve our margins.

As part of our commitment to grow our business while reducing our environmental impact, we are determined to be an industry leader in resource efficiency, with the ultimate aim of producing no waste.


  • Achieved
  • By 2015 – Send zero waste from Nestlé in the Market (NiM) factories to landfill and incineration (excluding a minimum amount of hazardous waste).

Less burden on our finite natural resources and less waste entering our environment.


Less dependency on limited resources and reduced operational costs.

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What are we doing about it?

Our ambition is to be a zero-waste business across our operations, by working up the waste hierarchy. To achieve this, we need to prevent and minimise the amount of waste we generate in the first place, as well as improve resource efficiency across the value chain.

Meeting this challenge depends on partnership with others, as well as harnessing new energy-saving technologies. We've been undertaking a series of programmes and pilots in order to identify the areas where we can improve our efficiency across our operations and in our supply chain. We work with a range of partners, including the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Sheffield Hallam University.

Food and drink material hierarchy 

Our journey to zero waste

To support our commitment to using resources efficiently, we set an ambitious objective for all our NiM factories: send zero waste to landfill or incineration by the end of 2015, apart from a bare minimum of unavoidable hazardous waste.

Over the past year we’ve been working on a number of initiatives and partnerships throughout our value chain to achieve this objective. For example, as part of our Milk Plan, we’ve been working with our dairy farmers to help them improve their farming methods so that their farms can become waste-free.

By the end of 2015 we had met our zero-waste target, and we’re now working to maintain this across all our factories. To share the lessons we learned, we showcased our efficiency initiatives at the Food Matters Live conference in ExCel in November 2015.

WRAP pathfinder project

Identifying opportunities for waste prevention in a supply chain is a complex process, and not something we can do on our own. To help us find waste hot spots in our chocolate supply chain, we’ve been working with WRAP.

Our partnership with WRAP has helped us communicate and collaborate more effectively about waste across the whole supply chain. Through the partnership we’ve developed a Raw Material Risk tool that will help improve our efficiency performance, as well as a waste prevention standard that can be used across the market and replicated across different product streams.

Pioneering collaborative thinking in the food industry

Through partnerships with leading research institutions, we’re helping to drive innovation and gain new insights into resource efficiency that will benefit not just our own operations, but also the food industry as a whole.

In November 2015, we announced the launch of a pioneering new project in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to improve waste heat recovery processes in the ovens we use to manufacture KitKats. The project will deliver an estimate energy reduction of 15%.

At our Dalston factory the development of inline spectroscopic technology is likely to provide valuable information that could benefit the broader dairy sector and reduce energy, water and waste through the supply chain.

FareShare volunteer  

Meals for people in need

As a food manufacturer, food waste is a big issue for Nestlé. To help us find good uses for our surplus food, we’ve been working with FareShare, a charity that tackles food waste by providing meals for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Since the partnership began, we have provided FareShare with 2,535 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food. This is the equivalent of over six million meals’ worth of food that would otherwise have gone to waste. The environmental impacts are also considerable. The redistribution of food minimises good food going to landfill, anaerobic digestion or animal feed and helps reduce carbon emissions.

In 2015, Nestlé UK & Ireland donated 185 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food to FareShare, contributing towards 440,485 meals for people in need.

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What’s next?

Our work in the coming years will focus on expanding our zero-waste commitment and embedding resource efficiency throughout our business. For example, along with our manufacturing facilities, we have made a commitment for all our offices to produce zero waste for disposal by 2017.
Find out more.