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Nestlé Sustainability Report: 35% Direct GHG Emissions Reduction Targeted

Nestlé has announced a goal of reducing its direct greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of product by 35 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2015 amid a raft of targets in its latest sustainability report. But figures from earlier reports suggest that the company may already be on the brink of reaching the emissions target.

According to the company’s 2007 sustainability report, the company released 118 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per metric ton of product in 2005. The new report shows that in 2012, this metric fell to 77.7 kg CO2e per metric ton of product, meaning that, if the figures from the 2007 report have not been subsequently revised, Nestlé has already reduced this metric by over 34 percent compared to 2005 levels.

In 2011, the company’s factories released 84.2 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per metric ton of product it produced meaning that the company has cut its normalized direct greenhouse gas emissions by 7.8 percent year-on-year. Nestlé’s absolute direct greenhouse gas emissions fell almost 2.7 percent over the course of 2012.

The company’s normalized indirect emissions also fell but by just over 0.5 percent, from 71.5 kg CO2e per metric ton of product in 2011 to 71.1 kg CO2e per metric ton of product in 2012. Nestlé’s absolute indirect greenhouse gas emissions increased almost 5 percent in that time period.

By 2015, the company was aiming to reduce its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of product by 5 percent compared to 2010 levels. To date Nestlé has reduced this metric by 9 percent according to figures drawn from the company’s 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project and the 2012 sustainability report.

In 2012, the company ranked first for performance and disclosure in the Carbon Disclosure Project Investor Programme and received the highest score of any food producer in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index climate strategy section.

In February, the company installed its first wind energy project at its Nestle Waters North America bottling plant in Cabazon, Calif. The two wind turbines will provide power for 30 percent of the facility where the company produces its Arrowhead and Nestle Pure Life brand bottled waters.

Nestlé’s on site energy consumption for 2012 was 90.7 petajoules, equivalent to 1.9 gigajoules per metric ton of product – a reduction of 4.7 percent compared to 2011. The company completed 36 projects through its Energy Target Setting Initiative this year investing a total of CHF 82 million ( $86 million) and saving circa 173,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The company says that it is working to improve the performance of the natural refrigerants now in use at its installations, and also intensifying its research into safe, environmentally sound refrigeration systems. By 2015, the food company is aiming to reduce its energy consumption per metric ton of product by 25 percent compared to 2005 levels.

Nestlé has also announced a target of reducing its water consumption per metric ton of product by 40 percent of 2005 levels by 2015. From 2011 to 2012 the company reduced this metric by just short of 9 percent year-on-year, from 3.17 m3 per metric ton of product in 2011 to 2.89 m3 per metric ton of product in 2012. There is no 2005 water consumption figure in the 2012 report.

The company sasy it has invested in a range of water saving initiatives throughout 2012, including projects in Mexico, Spain, the United States and Uzbekistan. Nestlé’s 489 water saving projects in its factories saved 6.5 million m3 of water, the report says.

In October, Nestle USA’s Pizza Division announced that it had reduced its water usage by 7.4 million gallons per year at its factory in Little Chute, Wis., using GE’s water-treatment chemical technology. The factory also reduced its sewer discharge by 7.4 million gallons per year. The combined reductions translate into about $50,000 in cost savings from avoided water purchase costs and discharge fees.

Nestlé reduced its normalized waste production by 13 percent year-on-year, from 7.76 kg per metric ton pf product in 2011 to 6.6 kg per metric ton of product in 2012.

By the end of 2012, 39 Nestlé factories generated zero waste for disposal. For example, its Tutbury factory in the UK has achieved zero waste status by introducing effective waste segregation systems and by training employees and contractors in waste strategy. Achieving zero waste has not only delivered water and energy savings, but also created more space and reduced transport costs, the report says. By 2015 the company hopes to have 10 percent of its factories zero-waste certified, the report says.

Among the other goals the company has announced is a target of getting all its palm oil from sustainable sources by the end of this year, two years ahead of schedule.

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