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Net Zero by 2050: Why will it take so long?

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At Nestlé we know that taking action on climate change can't wait and neither can we. We have set 2050 as our global target for achieving Net Zero emissions, in line with science based targets. This means that we are aiming for absolute emissions reductions even while our company grows. And we're taking action across our whole value chain including our operations and logistics, packaging and also the agricultural systems in which we source our ingredients.

This does not mean that there will not be lots of achievements and milestones on this journey. We will be working towards a 20% reduction by 2025, and a 50% reduction by 2030 and some of our brands will be carbon neutral much sooner to accelerate our impact and demonstrate what is possible.

We're not starting from scratch - In the UK and Ireland all of our grid-supplied electricity already comes from renewable sources and we've significantly reduced waste, but we know we have more to do to reduce our emissions and achieve net zero.

See our full roadmap to 2050.

 

What does 'net zero' emissions actually mean?

Achieving a balance between emissions and removals for all greenhouse gases within a company's value chain over a specific time period. Avoided emissions and offsets are not counted as part of the commitment.

 

What does 'regenerative agriculture' actually mean?

Regenerative agriculture refers to a range of techniques that help keep carbon and water in the ground. It does this through safeguarding soil health and providing natural habitats for flora and fauna. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the term encompasses a wide range of farming and grazing practices. The main interventions consist of 'no-till' agriculture which avoids exposing the soil to the atmosphere and subsequent degradation. It also covers improving other measures like integrating the management of crops with livestock and reducing the overall use of pesticides and other chemicals on-farm. Regenerative agriculture can help boost farmer incomes through higher yields and more resilience to a changing climate.

 

What was Nestlé doing to tackle climate change before your 2050 commitment?

Our commitment build on a decade of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2014, the reduction of greenhouse gases across our value chain is equivalent to taking 1.2 million cars off the road.

Over the past ten years we've decreased by more than one third the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our factories per kilo of product.

We have been lowering the GHG emissions associated with the production and distribution of our food and beverages, by improving energy efficiency, using cleaner fuels and investing in renewable sources.

For example: switching from long-distance road transportation to rail or short-sea shipping in Europe, opting for wind power to supply energy to our factories in Mexico, and installing wood-fired boilers at some of our factories in France.

We've also stepped-up our efforts to ensure responsible sourcing of raw materials and made significant progress towards our zero deforestation. In 2013, we adopted the Nestlé commitment on climate change as an appendix to our Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability (pdf, 300Kb).

 

What are you doing internally with employees and your supply chain to help reach your Net Zero Commitment?

We support everyone to learn more about Climate Change and what being net zero means with internal hub of resources to answer questions for employees. Some of this information is also found on our Acting on Climate Change pages. But at Nestlé, sustainability is embedded into everyone's roles, from our leaders and the role they play, to supply chain colleagues and brand managers, we all are working towards the same commitment outlined in our net zero roadmap. We are working with our suppliers with a focus on regenerative agriculture to enhance the resilience and well-being of farming communities. We are also engaging new talent to bring fresh perspectives into the business with our Nestlé Academy programmes and helping to support children to go to school in communities around the world.

 

Will Nestlé continue to advocate for wider climate action?

We know that we cannot achieve net zero alone. We will continue working with farmers, suppliers, industry, employees, consumers, governments, NGOs and communities where we operate, to forge new and deeper levels of engagement on climate issues.

We will transparently advocate for clear and fair standards and regulation that support sector wide efforts, and for necessary public policies to enable the transformation of economic and social systems for a net zero carbon future.

Learn more about our efforts to tackle climate change