Nestlé moves beyond forest protection to a Forest Positive strategy and boosts its use of satellite services

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Nestlé announced today that it will move beyond protecting forests to restoring them and helping them thrive, as part of its efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050. With its new Forest Positive approach, the company will also further promote sustainable livelihoods and the respect of human rights. 

These actions build upon a decade of work to end deforestation in Nestlé’s key forest-risk commodities. In fact, 90% of those key ingredients—palm oil, sugar, soy, meat and pulp and paper—have been assessed as deforestation-free as of December 2020. Nestlé has used tools, such as supply chain mapping, certification, on-site-verification and satellite monitoring services like Starling or the Global Forest Watch, to achieve this result. In addition, the company also collaborated with farmers, farming communities and suppliers on the ground. 

“To meet the world’s food needs in 2050, agricultural production will have to increase by around half versus 2013 levels,” said Magdi Batato, EVP, Head of Operations at Nestlé. “It is more important than ever to protect natural ecosystems as we meet this challenge and to go beyond and restore forests for the future.” He added that this Forest Positive strategy is key to producing more crops on the same amount of land as well as to regenerating Earth’s water systems, soil health and carbon storage.

While driving its Forest Positive agenda, Nestlé will also accelerate its work to completely eliminate deforestation in its palm oil, sugar, soy, meat and pulp and paper supply chains by 2022. By 2025, it plans to achieve the same for its coffee and cocoa supply chains. 

“The use of satellite imagery has helped us on our journey to stop deforestation,” said Laurent Freixe, EVP, CEO of Zone Americas, Nestlé. “We will now expand the use of this technology to monitor the sourcing of coffee and cocoa—two important ingredients for our much-loved products.” Utilizing satellite monitoring services, Nestlé will carry out a risk assessment in the regions where it sources its ingredients. Starting with the Americas and then expanding globally, this will help the company take swift actions in sourcing these raw materials sustainably. 

“A Forest Positive future is only possible when agricultural production and forest regeneration exist in harmony,” added Laurent Freixe. “By shifting how we grow, source and consume, we can make sure our food supplies are intact for the future. We must do this while nurturing our valuable tree cover, stabilizing our climate and improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities.”

Within its palm oil supply chain, Nestlé has completed a Forest Footprint pilot in the Aceh province in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The objective of this pilot was not only to monitor deforestation after it has happened, but to better understand future risks to forests and peatlands as well as the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs). By understanding these drivers and issues, the company is better positioned to deploy effective, forward-looking strategies.

Nestlé will foster a Forest Positive approach among its suppliers to turn risks into opportunities and to create sustainable landscapes and livelihoods. The company will reward suppliers for their environmental efforts by buying bigger quantities, contracting with them long term, co-investing in programs that promote forest conservation and restoration, or by paying premiums.

“Forest Positive is only achievable if we work hand-in-hand with farmers and local communities, industry partners, governments and advocates at landscape level to form wider solutions across local, regional and global levels,” said Magdi Batato. “The benefits are numerous: more resilient communities and livelihoods, more sustainable food systems, and a healthier planet.”

About Nestlé Middle East and North Africa (MENA):

Nestlé’s heritage in the Middle East and North Africa goes back over 100 years with the sale of the first Infant Cereals in Egypt. Today, Nestlé operates 25 Food & Beverage factories across the 19 countries of the MENA Region, and provides direct employment to more than 15,000 people who are all committed to Nestlé’s purpose of Enhancing Quality of Life and Contributing to a Healthier Future. Nestlé MENA also provides indirect employment across the region to several thousand more.

The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: Dairy, Infant Nutrition, Coffee and Creamers, Confectionery, Bottled Water, Breakfast Cereals, Culinary products, Health Science, and Pet Care, among others. Nestlé NIDO, Nestlé CERELAC, Nestlé NAN, S-26, PROGRESS, NESCAFÉ, NESPRESSO, Bonjorno Café, Coffee-mate, KitKat, MAGGI, Nestlé FITNESS, Nestlé Grain d’Or, Nestlé Pure Life, OPTIFAST, and PURINA Friskies are just some of the brands available in the Middle East and North Africa.