Nestlé has announced its new ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
This is aligned with science-based targets to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C, with interim goals of meeting the 1.5°C target. Nestlé stated that it will be reviewing this via a time-bound plan.
Factoring the carbon and climate change component with such a target is a massive shift in how a multinational looks at the sourcing of its ingredients.
In 2010, Earthworm Foundation worked with Nestlé to develop its No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy to ensure that its products weren’t linked to deforestation or exploitation. Since then, Earthworm has supported Nestlé and its suppliers to transform their supply chain through a number of forest conservation, smallholder and soil initiatives.
As Nestlé’s Head of Responsible Sourcing, Benjamin Ware, explains, “Working with our partners, we will continue to accelerate the transformation of our supply chains and scale up our agricultural work, with an additional strong focus on soils. We will also be looking at how we can restore forests by replanting trees and protecting the biodiversity that exists on forests and farms.”
Earthworm Foundation CEO Bastien Sachet applauds Nestlé’s new direction.
“Nestlé’s commitment is historic,” said Bastien. “It puts the focus back where carbon can be captured and where the company has got leverage: in the supply chain, agricultural soils and forests. For us at Earthworm it offers huge encouragement to accelerate and scale our work even further.”
One thing that companies like Nestlé and their suppliers (including farmers) need is soil. It is host to more than a quarter of the planet’s biodiversity, and presents an immense carbon storage opportunity. But intensive agriculture has damaged it.
At present, fertile soil is being lost at a rate of 24 million tons a year through erosion and pollution, generating massive greenhouse gas emissions. “Supporting farmers to look after the health of the earth is vital as they play a massive role in Nestlé’s work,” added Bastien. “We will of course talk a lot about trees, agroforestry and regenerative agriculture in the coming years, but let’s not forget that it is the farmers who will be the critical pivot to implement Nestlé’s carbon neutrality target.”
Through programmes such as Rurality and Landscapes, Earthworm and Nestlé have been helping farmers to become more resilient, innovating when it comes to how economic value can be created for them and the rest of the value chain, while preserving and regenerating ecosystems. This commitment offers an opportunity to build on existing projects and take them to scale.
Bastien believes that for too long the focus of global business has been on the product, the brand and the marketing. “It is only logical that companies now turn their attention to what really matters: forests and farms that provide us air to breathe, and water to drink and underpin our global public health.” he said. “We are excited to see Nestlé drive this change and support them with it.”
About Earthworm Foundation
Earthworm Foundation is a non-profit organisation driven by the desire to positively impact the relationship between people and nature. With most of our staff operating directly on the ground where the issues are, we work with our member companies and partners to make value chains an engine to drive positive economic, environmental and social impact.
Mark Sanderson, Media Relations Manager
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