Forests are essential for the health of our planet: they help stabilize the climate, regulate ecosystems and host significant biodiversity. Nestlé is dependent on healthy forests to ensure a sustainable supply of resources. The ongoing loss of forests, particularly in the biodiversity-rich tropical zone, demands urgent action.
Committed to having deforestation-free products. Over the past 10 years, Nestlé has been leading the way in its efforts to end deforestation across its supply chain. The company has developed an integrated approach with a combination of certification, supply chain mapping, on-the-ground verification and satellite surveillance. As of April 2019, 77% of the key agricultural commodities Nestlé buys, including soy and palm oil, were verified deforestation-free. That figure will surpass 90% by the end of 2020. Nestlé’s efforts will not stop there. The company will continue to work with smallholder farmers and large suppliers alike to be close to 100% deforestation-free within the next three years. To this end, Nestlé continues to act on three fronts:
- Utilizing technology.Transparency builds trust and ensures accountability. Nestlé has pioneered the deployment of technologies that make this possible. The company was the first in the food industry to utilize Starling, Airbus’s satellite-based imagery system. This enables the real-time detection of deforestation. Nestlé was also the first to make its supply chain transparent. The company discloses a list of direct suppliers, upstream locations and country of origins, as well as total volume sourced for key agricultural commodities.
- Supporting smallholder farmers. Experience shows that preventing deforestation requires engaging with smallholder farmers. In the case of palm oil, these farmers account for 40% of global production and frequently operate in areas near forests without conservation measures. Actions need to support livelihoods and sustain communities. To do this, Nestlé provides technical assistance to almost 50 000 smallholder farmers. The company is scaling up initiatives to help them increase crop productivity and diversify incomes. The aim is to make forest conservation economically attractive, restore forestry stocks and promote regenerative agriculture, which help capture carbon from the atmosphere. This will be a key aspect in fulfilling Nestlé’s ambition of zero net greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2050.
- Advocating for disclosure.Nestlé works to create sector-wide approaches, share know-how and bring solutions to scale. The company is an advocate for increased transparency, and harmonized disclosure and reporting at industry level. Addressing deforestation requires that all parties step up, be accountable and assume responsibility for forest stewardship.