Mitigating ‘business risk’: Nestle expands APAC sustainability initiatives with regenerative projects in Australia
The food and beverage giant announced this at the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference, pledging to implement regenerative measures that would benefit the local food supply chain and natural solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, plans to plant 10 million trees in the country by 2025.
“[The aim is to] scale up regenerative agriculture and deploy natural climate solutions to absorb greenhouse gases [to] contribute to Nestle’s overall net zero target by 2050,” Nestle Executive Vice President, Head of Operations, Head of Operations Magdi Batato said.
“This [focus on] Australia is an important step forward in our road to net zero [as] beyond the positive impact on our carbon footprint, [it] will protect natural resources, accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture and food systems as well as provide local communities with economic benefits.”
Nestle Oceania CEO Sandra Martinez added that the projects in Australia will involve a partnership between Nestle and various environmental organisations including Greening Australia, Canopy and One Tree Planted.
“Our long-term commitment is about more than just planting trees – [for instance], the reforestation program works to conserve local biodiversity, and advance regenerative food and farming systems which will deliver environmental and economic benefits to communities,” she told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Climate change is possibly everyone’s greatest challenge – and a significant risk to the future of our business [so] Nestle Australia is thrilled that we will be part of this project.
“Planting trees in areas where we source our ingredients helps protect and restore food systems. It helps our supply chain and the local communities that grow our ingredients to be more resilient."
The first step in this project will be to establish the planting of the 10 million trees across the country, which will include a biodiverse mix of some 65 native species hoped to sequester an estimated 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years.
According to Martinez, the project has already commenced with a number of private landholders in Victoria and expects to hit the 200,000 mark by the end of the year.
Australia is not the first market in APAC to have embarked on this project – late last year, Nestle Philippines also received support to plant 2.5 million bamboo clumps and one million trees.
“The island of Mindanao is the main target for this as Nestle sources coffee beans from this region,” Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki said.
“Planting bamboo native to the Philippines in this sourcing region aims to absorb greenhouse gas emissions, conserve local biodiversity, improve water quality and restore degraded soils.”
Nestle’s 2050 net zero goal
The company’s global plans when it comes to regenerative agriculture and reforestation first involves the planting of 200 million trees by 2030 in its sourcing landscapes, as part of its wider Net Zero Roadmap.
Its focus is on the areas where key ingredients are sourced – such as coffee beans in the Philippines and dairy in Australia - particularly complex landscapes that may be at risk of deforestation or degradation.
“As part of our commitment to [the regenerative projects], Nestle has set up an External Advisory Council (EAC) of independent experts in diverse fields, which plays a strategic advisory role to help guide [the implementation] of these across the various markets,” said the firm.