Environmental sustainability

Nestlé packaging experts discuss design
DESIGNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY: Nestlé's product designers are encouraged to think about sustainability from the very beginning of the design process.
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As the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company we strive to enhance the quality of life for our consumers everywhere with tasty, nutritious and healthy food and beverages. We understand that this sense of well-being also requires that our products are made in a caring and responsible way that preserves the environment for future generations. Read our Water and Environmental Sustainability Policy (pdf, 349Kb)

To better understand and to optimise the environmental performance of our products, we apply a life cycle approach, systematically assessing our product categories along the whole value chain. Find out about Nestlé’s life cycle approach to environmental sustainability.

Girl sorting waste packaging for recycling
HELPING PEOPLE TO RECYCLE: The 123Recycle app provides consumers in Singapore with clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how to sort waste packaging material correctly.

Packaging and the environment

We strive to reduce the environmental impact of our packaging while ensuring our packaging protects our products effectively. Nestlé has been systematically reducing the weight of our packaging since 1991, with a reduction of over 500 million kg to date.

Nestlé also promotes recovery and recycling, using recycled materials wherever possible. We choose materials with an inherently lower impact on the environment (such as materials from sustainably managed renewable resources). In considering the impact of packaging on the environment we look at several indicators including carbon footprint, water usage, non-renewable energy use and solid waste generation.

Product labelling

In accordance with our policy on environmental sustainability, which was first established in 1991, we are committed to providing science-based, meaningful and verifiable environmental information about our products and activities.

We favour full product lifecycle consideration, addressing all of the most impactful elements along the supply chain, including the product's use and end-of-life treatment. We also support the establishment of one internationally harmonised methodology, preferably through the International Standards Organization (ISO). Nestlé is a member of the ISO Water Footprint Working Group (ISO140046: ISO/TC207/SC5/WG8), which first convened in 2009.

We are opposed to labelling with a single indicator, such as water footprint, because it is misleading to consumers and neglects other important factors such as the product's impact on CO2 emissions and non-renewable energy resources.

Furthermore, we believe that on-pack labelling may not be the best option for communicating complex issues relating to environmental impact. Nestlé is committed to using a range of communication methods to engage consumers on environmental issues.

For example, Nestlé has launched the world’s first free, mobile application for iPhone and Android devices to help people recycle waste packaging correctly

We are also looking into new ways of visually communicating the benefits of sustainability to consumers.

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