Nestle USA, which brings you everything from bottled water and coffee products to sweet chocolate treats and even cat litter, is looking to do more to bring its facilities toward environmental sustainability. Among the objectives Nestlé lists in its Corporate Sustainability Report, released earlier this month, are several environmental goals the company is working toward through 2020. Those targets include: zero waste to landfill, responsible packaging and reducing food waste.
Zero Waste to Landfill
As of May 2015, all 23 Nestle USA factories reached landfill-free status. By year’s end, Nestlé reports 30 percent of its U.S. factories will achieve landfill-free status. This milestone supports its commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices and helps meet its 2015 global commitment of 10 percent of facilities achieving zero waste to landfill status ahead of schedule.
The overall goal, is working toward zero waste for disposal, where no factory waste is landfilled or is incinerated without energy recovery, and to maximize the value of remaining by-products. According to its Report, as of 2014, 12 of Nestlé’s facilities in the United States achieved zero waste to landfill status.
Nestlé encourages employees to consider different ways to reduce, recycle or recover energy when disposing of manufacturing by-products. Additionally, it works with waste vendors to support its efforts to dispose, recycle and compost. All of this is working toward its U.S.-wide goal of zero waste to landfill status in all factories by 2020.
The plan is improving efficiency, quality and productivity, and doing more with fewer resources and less waste. Nestlé defines zero waste for disposal as any material that arises during the manufacture or distribution of a product that is destined for final disposal to offsite landfill or incineration without energy recovery. The overall ambition is to work towards this goal in as many facilities as possible, where no factory waste goes to landfill or is incinerated without energy recovered, and to maximize the value of remaining by-products.
Reduce Food Waste
Improving resource efficiency in its operations contributes to Nestlé’s efforts to reduce food waste. About one-third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted at some point along the supply chain, often before it reaches the end consumer. Aside from the tragedy of food wasted while millions go hungry around the world, food loss places a tremendous burden on the environment.
The company recently pledged to reduce food loss and waste in a new initiative launched at its global headquarters in Switzerland, attended by industry, research, government and civil society representatives. The program, called Save Food, works closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Environment Programme to create awareness of and help prevent food loss.
Nestlé’s efforts include responsible sourcing and educating consumers about food waste, as well as working closely with the World Resources Institute to develop a global standard to measure and to evaluate food loss and waste in the food supply chain. These efforts complement the global commitment to achieve zero waste to landfill in all of its manufacturing sites globally by 2020, further reducing waste from farm to table.
Nestle is using smart packaging design to reduce food waste, guarantee the quality of its products and communicate with consumers. Nestlé says it is working to improve environmental performance of its packaging by optimizing packaging design and materials by taking a holistic approach, assessing the impacts of raw materials and processes across a product’s life cycle, and making the best choice for a particular product, whether it’s baby food, frozen pizza or pet food. Smart packaging delivers performance and functionality while optimizing weight and volume. Nestlé also is working to promote recovery and recycling and the use of materials from renewable sources, “where there’s an environmental benefit and it’s appropriate,” the report says. Improving the resource efficiency and environmental performance of its packaging is an ongoing priority across Nestlé’s operations.
The work, the company says, will help deliver on its 2020 commitment to develop the next generation of recyclable water bottles, with a lighter environmental footprint, made from post-consumer recycled or renewable materials.
Among its product packaging changes, Nestlé Purina announced this year that its Pro Plan Renew natural cat litter packaging is using 93 percent recycled materials. In partnership with Ecologic Brands, the litter packaging is a rigid container made from recyclable molded paper pulp with a closure made from the same material and can be recycled in curbside programs. In addition, the product itself is an eco-friendly, clumping litter made from 100 percent natural corncob and cedar, and contains no artificial fragrance.
Additionally, Nestlé’s Nespresso coffee, is working to collect all used aluminum capsules wherever it does business. In the U.S., Nespresso Club Members have three recycling options to return their capsules, consisting of collection bins at Nespresso Boutiques across the country, drop-off locations at select retail partner locations or by UPS using Nespresso’s Mail Back Program. The currently are 500 collection points across the country, with plans to further expand and make capsule recycling as convenient and accessible as possible, the company says.