Page 8: WAys In Which Nestle Is Doing Better By The Environment
Nestlé UK's commitment to sustainable business practice is illustrated by two business examples of areas where improvements are being made:
Packaging is essential to maintain the high quality of the products. Nestlé continuously reviews packaging and, where possible, reduces the amount used. This results in saving on materials such as glass and plastics. Nestlé is also playing its part in meeting national targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. Nestle has established a set of criteria for evaluating packaging. These are:
- Is the packaging appropriate for the product?
- Is the size of pack justified?
- Are there any unnecessary components within the pack?
- Could any of the components be reduced in weight or thickness?
- Could the manufacture and construction of the outer packaging be made simpler?
- Is the material re-usable or recyclable?Between 1991 and 2000 Nestlé UK has been able to reduce its consumption of materials by up to 10
Major achievements in this area included:
- Removal of the inner plastic sleeve from Kit Kat Bumper packs saving 160 tonnes of plastic per year.
- A reduction in the thickness of 200g Nescafé jars saving 1041 tonnes of glass per year.
- A reduction in thickness of base material for chilled dessert pots saving 150 tonnes of plastic over a two year period.
As an integrated part of its environmental policy, Nestlé UK is committed to responsible energy management and seeks to use energy as efficiently as possible. This is done to:
- improve cost-effectiveness, productivity and working conditions
- prolong the useful life of fossil fuels
- avoid unnecessary expenditure
- prevent related emissions to the environment.
This involves seeking to buy fuels at their most economic cost and then to use them as efficiently as possible. It also means a reduction in pollution, and less dependence on non-renewable resources. In the short-term this involves gaining better control over energy consumption. Different operations are measured to determine energy usage. Nestlé is investing in energy saving measures as well as staff that are properly informed. Carbon dioxide is the most significant of the greenhouse gases believed to be responsible for the effects of Global Warming. The Kyoto Conference on Climate Change (1999) has meant that the UK and many other Governments have entered into a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. In addition, the Government has set a unilateral target of 20reduction of carbon dioxide by 2010 from 1990 levels. This is a summary of the steps taken by Nestlé UK since 1994 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- the replacement of a coal-fired steam raising plant with a gas-fired combined heat and power plant at York, saving 45,000 tonnes of CO2 per year
- similar changes at Dalston - saving 24,000 tonnes
- Ashbourne - saving 9,000 tonnes
- Fawdon - saving 12,500 tonnes.
All figures shown relate to savings made per year.
As a company which produces frozen, chilled and other perishable foods, refrigeration is essential to many parts of Nestlé's production and distribution systems. Nestlé is progressively cutting refrigerants that are potentially harmful to the environment. In the late 1980's a survey indicated that up to 10of refrigerants used by the company in the UK were CFCs. The decision was made to phase out CFCs in all but small, hermetically sealed systems and today this programme is complete. Nestlé Policy and the Environment Protection Act all forbid the deliberate discharge of refrigerants into the atmosphere. Where refrigerant has to be removed from a system and cannot be immediately reused, it is recovered and sent for recycling or disposal by suitably qualified companies.