Waste Not
Creating Shared Value:
Nestlé USA Achieves Zero Waste to Landfill, Makes 1,000 Products More Nutritious

Today, Nestlé USA released its second Creating Shared Value (CSV) report, which details the company’s progress against 27 commitments set in 2013 related to nutrition, health and wellness, environmental impact and water use, social impact, and responsible sourcing. Nestlé has added a new commitment to achieve zero waste to landfill status in all factories by 2020; its global CSV report for 2014 was released in March.

Among the highlights:

  • According to the report Nestlé reformulated 1,058 food and pet products to consider nutrition or consumer preferences — including reducing sodium, sugar and trans fats; increasing essential nutrients; and removing all artificial colors and flavors from its chocolate candy by the end of this year. Nestlé’s nutrition commitments are evaluated on Nestlé Nutritional Foundation (NNF) criteria, based on nutrition science and public health dietary recommendations. 100 percent of children's products meet sodium criteria, and the company is on track to meet two more 100 percent goals by the end of 2015: Sugar in children’s products will meet NNF guidelines (96 percent currently do), and portion guidance will be provided on children and family products. Nestlé’s nutrition goals are either ongoing or are expected to be met by 2017 or sooner. The company opened a global research and development center in Ohio earlier this year to balance NNF requirements with taste.
  • All Nestlé facilities in the USA are now zero waste to landfill; 12 Nestlé facilities achieved the status in 2014 and 25 facilities achieved the status this year. By April 2015, Nestlé had exceeded its global zero waste to landfill goal to achieve the status at 10 percent of its worldwide factories.
  • Nestlé’s onsite energy consumption from renewable resources increased by 24 percent from 2010 to 2014.
  • In terms of social commitments, the company plans to offer 14 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers of newborns and the option to extend unpaid leave up to six months beginning January 1, 2016. By 2017, Nestlé expects to increase the number of apprenticeships to 136 and hire 1,000 paid interns and trainees.

Nestlé seems to be making progress on responsible sourcing, but still falls a little short. The company only has responsible sourcing commitments related to audits in North America, a Cocoa Plan, and a Nescafé Plan (for coffee beans).

Perhaps the most controversial topic for Nestlé is water. While the company is actively encouraging healthy hydration habits among children and increasing the recycled content of its water bottles, these efforts are ultimately insufficient for addressing water scarcity — especially in areas such as California, which are experiencing severe drought. Earlier this year, more than 135,000 people signed a petition to shut down Nestlé’s water bottling operations in California. The report notes that Nestlé will save 144 million gallons of water per year from its California facilities by 2016 and has several general commitments to audits, resource reviews, and advocating for effective water policies and stewardship.

In conjunction with the release of the new CSV report, Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) also announced today that Arrowhead® Brand 100% Mountain Spring Water will increase the amount of recycled content used by the brand by nearly 40 percent in California. Unfortunately, the drought will continue to worsen regardless of the materials used in water bottles.

As Nestlé approaches its 150th anniversary in 2016, Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood acknowledged there is still work to be done. In his introduction to the report, he says, “We are proud of our progress, but this is no time for complacency. We’re contemplating how we will continue to evolve and create shared value over the next 150 years.”

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