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Nestlé Releases First U.S. Environmental Metrics

Nestlé in the United States has published its first environmental metrics, showing a one year, six percent decline in normalized greenhouse gases emissions.

CO2 output fell from 37.7 to 35.4 kg per ton of product last year, and absolute greenhouse emissions stayed steady at 600,000 tons, according to the 2010 Creating Shared Value report (pdf).

The data also shows that Nestlé’s water withdrawal rate rose by 2.1 percent in absolute terms between 2009 and 2010, but normalized water withdrawal fell by two percent, from 2.1 to 2.0 cubic meters per ton of product.

The company’s bottle water arm, Nestlé Waters North America, cut water consumption by 2.2 percent over the past five years while product volume increased 27 percent. The subsidiary published its own sustainability report in March.

Likewise, Nestlé’s total U.S. water discharge rose by 5.5 percent in absolute terms between 2009 and 2010, but remained steady in relative terms at one cubic meter per ton of product.

And while absolute on-site energy consumption rose by four percent, normalized energy use again stayed steady at 1.1 billion joules per ton of product.

Nestlé in the United States consists of five operating companies: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition and Nestlé Professional. Together, they employ more than 51,000 people and last year had sales of over $27 billion – Nestlé S.A.’s largest market.

Company sustainability initiatives last year included the installation of a solar panel array at the Nestlé Purina PetCare factory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

In 2010 Nestlé also redesigned several containers. A revamp of its 64 fluid-ounce plastic bottles for Juicy Juice saved 725,000 pounds of plastic, equivalent to more than 200,000 gallons of gasoline.

Nestlé Nutrition reduced plastic in its Infant Nutrition Meals and Drinks products by 588,000 pounds last year, equivalent to more than 162,000 gallons of gasoline.

And last year, Nestlé Professional’s manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Ohio, partnered with local composters to divert food waste from landfills.

“This report marks the first time we are publishing metrics that measure our environmental impact in the U.S.,” said Heidi Paul, vice president of corporate affairs for Nestlé Waters North America. “In the long term, our facilities aim to reduce our water and energy consumption and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product.”

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One thought on “Nestlé Releases First U.S. Environmental Metrics

  1. I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:

    “In first world countries like those in North America, tap water is readily available and safe to drink practically everywhere. There is no societal need for bottled water, outside of disaster situations or other limited niches. Bottled water superiority is a marketing myth.” In addition, it can cost vastly more energy to bottle and distribute the water than the energy needed to produce your own readily available tap water.

    Nestle’s sustainability efforts are indeed better than nothing at all, and they are to be commended for the actions they are undertaking. But Nestle is still involved in an industry (bottled water) that has inordinately severe environmental consequences, in relation to the value added to society at large. Their report of a 27% increase in bottled water volume translates directly into an increase in energy used to produce the bottles, to bottle the water, and to transport the bottles to retail locations.

    By purchasing and using both a tap filter and reusable water bottles, people can enjoy healthful, good tasting water that is conveniently at hand no matter where they may go. And so I asked people to reconsider their own consumption habits:

    “Stop contributing to the enormous waste of energy, and the enormous problem of bottle disposal, that is represented by bottled water consumption. It adds nothing to one’s quality of life, it costs the consumer plenty in wasted expense, and it costs the environment significant and lasting harm via both CO2 and plastic waste release.” Please consider these points before making that next bottled water purchase. And if you have never watched the StoryOfStuff bottled water video, it may be of interest: http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/

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