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Nespresso Investing $550 Million to Achieve Carbon Neutrality, Responsible Supply Chain

Image Credit: Flickr Captures By Alex

Nespresso has announced it will invest nearly $550 million USD over the next six years to implement a new sustainability strategy aimed at achieving carbon neutrality, as well as 100 percent responsibly sourced coffee and managed aluminium.

Dubbed “The Positive Cup”, Nespresso says the strategy is based on Nestlé’s approach to Creating Shared Value (CSV) and builds upon the steps it already has taken over the last five years to improve farmer welfare and drive environmental sustainability in coffee sourcing and consumption.

Part of the investment will be used to establish a new Sustainable Development Fund, which the company says will play a key role in channelling resources into specific sustainability projects.

To achieve carbon neutrality, Nespresso plans to increase farm climate resilience by planting 10 million trees in the coffee regions in which it operates. This also will allow the brand to compensate its residual operational carbon footprint within its own value chain, an approach called insetting.

Nespresso says it will sustainably source 100 percent of its permanent range of Grand Cru coffees through the NespressoAAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. In addition, the brand will assist farmers to achieve high certification standards (in water management, biodiversity and fair treatment of workers, for example) through its long-term partner Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade. Nespresso also is pursuing solutions to farmer welfare, including the expansion of the AAA Farmer Future Program initially through a retirement fund for farmers in Colombia.

The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Colombia already has seen some impressive results — farmers in the program have a net income 87.4 percent higher than those not involved with the program, according to a 2013 independent study by the Colombian organization CRECE.

The expansion of the AAA Program in Africa plays a key role in allowing Nespresso to achieve its sourcing aims, which is why it will invest around $16.4 million in Kenya and Ethiopia. The company also plans to revive high quality coffee production in South Sudan as part of this investment.

As part of its recycling strategy, Nespresso plans to expand the capacity to collect used aluminum capsules to 100 percent wherever the company does business and increase recycling rates. The company also will recycle Nespresso capsules collected by the company into new capsules each time it makes sense environmentally, such as in the UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria and Italy. Nespresso also will source 100 percent of virgin aluminum capsule material compliant with the new Aluminum Stewardship Initiative standard.

Nespresso’s parent company, Nestlé, has taken a multi-pronged approach to improving its sustainability record, mostly through lifecycle assessments, the latest in eco-design software and more sustainable innovations across the company’s operations and supply chain. From agriculture to packaging, Nestlé now competes with other leading consumer goods companies that are mitigating their impact on the environment and society while still providing value to consumers.


Based in San Francisco, Mike Hower is a sustainability strategist and storyteller on Edelman's Business + Social Purpose team where he works with some of the world's leading brands on corporate sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement. With several years of… [Read more about Mike Hower]


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