Sustainable Packaging at Nestlé Canada

What is Nestlé Canada doing to help?

Canada Plastics Pact

On January 27, 2021, Nestlé Canada joined the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP), a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative that brings together industry, government and social organizations from across Canada’s plastics value chain. The goal of the CPP is to drive significant system-wide change towards a circular economy by rethinking the way that we design, use and reuse plastics by 2025.

As a founding partner of the CPP, Nestlé Canada has agreed to collectively make efforts achieving four ambitious goals by 2025:

  • Define a list of plastic packaging that is to be designated as problematic or unnecessary and take measures to eliminate them
  • Support efforts towards 100% of plastic packaging being designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Undertake actions to ensure that at least 50% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled or composted
  • Ensure an average of at least 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging (by weight)

Canada’s Plastics Pact is the latest country to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution. In line with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for plastic, the CPP facilitates innovation and knowledge sharing, and drives collaborative action and solutions tailored to Canada’s unique needs and challenges.

Climate Change Roadmap

In December, 2020, Nestlé defined its global roadmap to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in line with recent commitments made by the Canadian federal government to achieve its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The phased-approach aims to halve the company’s global emissions by 2030, and to realize net zero by 2050. To accomplish this, Nestlé will accelerate current initiatives, evolve its operations, and uncover ways to balance remaining emissions through high-quality carbon removal projects and innovation. As a signatory of the UN ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge, Nestlé is one of the first companies to share its detailed, time-bound plan and to do so ahead of schedule. The company will provide annual updates on its global efforts.

Key highlights of Nestlé Canada’s progress on its journey to achieving net zero include:     

Carbon Neutrality

Brands will achieve carbon neutrality by investing in a mix of renewable energy, packaging, operational improvement and high-quality offset projects. Several of Nestlé’s brands including Garden of Life, Perrier, S. Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Nespresso have made commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022.

Manufacturing, Operations & Logistics

Some key highlights within Nestlé Canada’s operations include:

  • As part of efforts to move towards carbon neutrality, Nestlé Canada has reduced CO2 in its logistics operations over the last 6 years by 22%, exceeding its goal by 10%. This reduction reflects improvements in transportation, warehousing, waste disposal, water, electricity, refrigerants, oils and steel recycling.
  • Nestlé Canada has reduced its GHG rate by 33%, saving approximately 6,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions since 2010.
  • By the end of 2020, 100% of Nestlé Canada’s manufacturing and distribution facilities will achieve zero waste to landfill.
  • Since 2017, Nestlé Canada has reduced its food waste rate on average of 14% in its factories and is saving an estimated 218 tons of food waste.

Ingredients

Nestlé Canada is partnering with industry experts and suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of its most emissions-intensive ingredients, ensuring that a more sustainable supply of natural resources and raw ingredients is used in its products.

Sustainable Packaging

At Nestlé, tackling plastic pollution is an urgent priority for us. We are working hard to ensure that none of our product packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter, including in our oceans, lakes and waterways.

To achieve this, our commitment is that 100% of our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025. We’ve made a number of global commitments to get there, including the elimination of non-recyclable plastics.

Examples of packaging improvements in Canada include:

However, to tackle the plastic waste crisis we know that our commitments to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable alone are not enough.

We are determined to reduce our use of single-use plastics, by introducing reusable packaging, new delivery systems and innovative business models everywhere we operate and sell our products. Building on our commitment, we will reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025.

In early 2020, we announced an investment of up to CHF 2 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics, and to accelerate the development of innovative packaging solutions.

Collaboration and collective action are vital for transforming how packaging is managed at end of life, particularly if we are to advance the circular economy. Recognizing this, we opened the Institute of Packaging Sciences in 2019 to enable us to accelerate our efforts to bring functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to the market and to address the global challenge of plastic packaging waste.

In addition to the work of the Institute, we are working with value chain partners, industry associations and the civil society to explore different packaging concepts to shape a waste-free future. Such system-wide change takes time, but we are committed to creating a world without waste. Our company will also continue to play an active role in the development of well-functioning collection, sorting and recycling schemes across the countries where we operate.

Improving consumer information is also vital, and we’re committed to helping improve it by labeling our product packaging with recycling information – to help ensure it is disposed of in the right way.

Plastic packaging plays an important role in safely delivering high-quality food and drinks to consumers, and in reducing food loss and waste. We need to consider alternatives carefully before making changes.

We are determined to look at every option to solve these complex challenges and embrace multiple solutions to reduce our environmental footprint.