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Nestle Sustainability Report: Direct GHGs Fell 7.7 Percent, Per Production, in 2011

Nestle’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2011, while its production volume increased by 3.4 percent, according to the company’s 2011 corporate sustainability report.

Per metric ton of product, Nestlé reduced its direct greenhouse emissions from 91 kg of CO2e in 2010 to 84 kg of CO2e in 2011, a drop of 7.7 percent. Since 2001, the company has experienced a 0.8 million ton (17.4 percent) reduction in CO2e, or a 52 percent reduction per ton of production, during a period when production volume increased by 73 percent.

The report does not supply absolute figures for the total amount of CO2 equivalent Nestlé was responsible for in 2011 or any other year.

The company’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased energy increased by 2.8 percent year-on-year in 2011 to 3.2 million metric tons, equal to a 0.5 percent reduction per metric ton of product compared to 2010, the report says.

Nestlé has a short term goal of reducing is greenhouse emissions by 5 percent by 2015, but does not provide a baseline year against which the reductions will be measured.

One of the ways the company has tried to cut its carbon emissions is through the use of natural refrigerants in manufacturing and point of sale units. The company has now phased out more than 90 percent of refrigerants with what it calls “high global warming and ozone depleting potential” in its industrial operations, and has shifted its focus to smaller refrigeration systems, such as ice cream freezers in stores.

In Switzerland all new Nestlé ice cream freezers now use hydrocarbon refrigerants and have fans that improve energy efficiency by 80 percent. The company is planning roll-outs of these types of freezers in Australia, Spain, Malaysia, Chile and the United States. Nestlé expects the freezers to cut its greenhouse emissions by 10,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent over their 10-year life span.

In 2011, the company’s on-site energy consumption was 90 million GJ, which equates to 2 GJ per metric ton of product – a two percent reduction compared to 2010. Since 2001, Nestlé has maintained its energy consumption while increasing its production volume by 73 percent. It attributes the improvement to energy reduction initiatives at a factory level, changes in its product mix and changes resulting from acquisitions and divestments.

Nestlé’s Energy Target Setting Initiative completed 16 projects in 2011, during which it identified more than 379 projects that totaled an investment of CHF86 million ($93 million). These projects resulted in an annual energy savings of about 8 million GJ and a reduction of around 191,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

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