‘Kasambuhay for the Environment’: Nestlé PH tackles climate change, declares local commitments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As mother nature cries for help, many of us still find initiating environmental-friendly actions challenging. But for Nestlé Philippines, saving the environment is taken step by step as it made new commitments towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) not later than 2050, while halving GHG by 2030.

One of the country’s largest food and beverage companies made the declaration as the “Kasambuhay for the Environment” during its virtual 2021 Net Zero Fair on April 30. This event was attended by its employees and their families, as well as program and business partners.

Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki said the company, which is observing its 110th year, will reduce the use of virgin plastics by 1,100 metric tons this year versus its 2019 usage. By 2025, consumption should be down by 1/3, and GHG from local operations should be reduced by 30%, he said.

Aside from existing efforts to innovate and develop technology to make its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé Philippines’ Makati office and Luzon factories have also switched to 100% renewable electricity.

Moreover, Nestlé Philippines is enabling Robusta coffee farmers in Mindanao to learn regenerative agriculture and sustainable coffee production through its NESCAFÉ Plan and the Common Code for the Coffee Community or 4C. In particular, the company is helping 1,500 smallholder farmers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Photo from Nestlé

Marzouki also said that the firm will collect and divert an annual average of 26,000 metric tons of plastic waste away from landfills and oceans. This move is seen to further intensify the firm’s efforts to sustain plastic neutrality, its initiative to collect and co-process the equivalent amount of plastic it generates in its packaging.

In the last seven months, Nestlé Philippines has collected 18,000 metric tons of plastic waste, making it the country’s first multinational fast-moving consumer goods company to attain plastic neutrality.

“As the ‘Kasambuhay for the Environment,’ we at Nestlé Philippines will take a leading role in looking towards net zero emissions by integrating sustainable practices in our operations,” he emphasized.

During the event, company employees and their families also pledged their active participation in creating a net-zero environment by making sustainable choices, properly managing solid waste, and planting trees.

The company’s commitments support “the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce and avoid carbon emissions by 75% as of 2030.”

Arlene Tan-Bantoto, SVP and head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability of Nestlé Philippines, noted the importance of partnerships with the public and private sectors to achieve these goals.

Photo from Nestlé

“We are addressing climate change through coordinated action, continuing innovation, and multi-sectoral engagement, with open accountability as we report our progress," Tan-Bantoto said.

"We are the Good Food, Good Life company," she added. "We want to leave the legacy of a cleaner, healthier, and more livable planet for the next 110 years.”

In his message of support, Senator Win Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said these private sector efforts will boost goals to achieve carbon neutrality.

Specifically, on the program for coffee farmers, Gatchalian said this should be adopted by other members of the manufacturing sector “as it will benefit nature and improve the income of farmers.”

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu lauded the strategy of Nestlé Philippines to address its greenhouse gas emissions. The company is seen to help the country achieve the latter’s goals in building climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, he said.

“Tackling climate change cannot wait, and neither can we," Marzouki said. "And so let us all move forward for the sake of our children and future generations, rising to the challenges that lie ahead, together and united."