Globally, the combination of population growth, increasing affluence and lifestyle patterns are outstripping the planet's ability to bear the effects of human activity. We believe that we are facing a serious water crisis in the coming years that will have serious consequences for food security. The food chain, from agriculture to manufacturing and consumption, contributes significantly to water quality and availability, climate change, energy use, biodiversity and soil quality, and air quality – at the same time, it is heavily dependent upon all of these environmental resources. As an example, the availability and accessibility of fresh water already affects our business, and we also expect to see the consequences of climate change on our operations over the next decades.
Our ambition is to produce tasty and nutritious food and beverages that also have the lowest environmental footprint, so we strive to continuously improve our operational efficiency and environmental performance. We apply a life cycle approach to assess the impacts of our own operations and those associated with the wider value chain, thereby contributing to a better future and Creating Shared Value to both Nestlé and society.
We have invested over $225 million in environmental sustainability programs and initiatives during 2009. We continue to identify and implement projects to reduce our use of water, non-renewable energy and other natural resources, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), to eliminate waste and to improve the environmental performance of our packaging. We also work alongside our suppliers to promote more sustainable practices in our supply chain, including the promotion of water stewardship.
We continue to make improvements in our water consumption and CO2 emissions performance through reduced energy consumption following operational energy efficiency measures and a move towards renewable energy sources. More waste is being diverted from landfill and incinerators without energy recovery. A continued focus on packaging weight reduction remains a priority.
- Value for Nestlé: Continuously improving environmental performance; productive factories; reduced risks; reduced costs; long-term availability of raw materials and water; sustainable, profitable growth.
- Value for society: Raising of environmental standards; higher incomes; better standards of living.