Nestle, championing sustainable future

Latest News 2021-03-24

KUALA LUMPUR: With indisputable realities such as the climate change being a growing global emergency, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd has been stepping up its action and sense of urgency, at the global level and also in Malaysia.


Nestle Malaysia chief executive officer Juan Aranols said for many years Nestle had been operating under the creating shared value framework - a firm belief in the idea that business performance can only be sustainable in the long term if it also benefits the communities where the group operates and the society at large.


He said Nestle's sustainability commitments were also well aligned with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



"As an example, we have committed to half our CO2 (carbon dioxide) footprint by 2030 and bring it to zero by 2050, while all our packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025.


"The global commitments are a powerful driving force to accelerate action aligning behind common objectives. They reflect a genuine conviction that we can make a difference. And this is greatly inspiring and motivating for all of us working for Nestle," he told the New Straits Times recently.


Aranols said Nestle's purpose was to unlock the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come.


"As the world's largest food and beverage manufacturer, globally and in Malaysia, we recognise the impact that we have not only on consumers, but on the environment.


"Environmental preservation is a key priority as our business depends greatly on the health of the planet. Just think of the agricultural value chains providing us most of our ingredients.


"They need safe and reliable water sources, must be able to provide livelihoods for the people involved in them and can be easily disrupted by extreme weather conditions that are one of the most obvious consequences of climate change," he added.


Aranols said for example, the company's engagement here in Malaysia with farmers in Kelantan and Kedah to produce chilli, rice or coffee that it used in Nestle's products under brands like Maggi, Cerelac or Nescafe.


"The farmers under these programs are provided with training and technical assistance on relevant areas to improve the environmental impact of their activities, as well as to increase productivity and crop yields," he said.


Aranols added that the company was also deeply engaged in reforestation activities as it recognised that thriving forests and biodiversity are critical to increase carbon absorption and reduce CO2 levels.


"We completed the planting of one million trees along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah in 2020 and we have embarked in the planting of another three million trees until 2023," he said.


The company is also venturing into new business opportunities such as plant-based foods, helping to transition out of an overdependence on meat based diets that cannot cope sustainably with population growth and have many times the impact in terms of use of land resources, water consumption or CO2 emissions, compared to plant-based offerings.


Aranols said in recent years, there had been a big push both globally and in Malaysia towards strengthening environmental and social governance, in line with UN's SDG and in the context of greater awareness on the dire impacts of climate emergency.


Malaysia was ranked 60th out of 193 countries in the 2020 SDG Index, up from 68th just one year before. It certainly reflects the nation's positive progress.


"To build on this good momentum, is time to accelerate action. We believe that participation from all stakeholders across the public and private sector, as well as the wider community is required to bring about positive, meaningful change. There is so much more that we can do together," he added.


He said as an example, Malaysia has a powerful recycling sector, but this industry had to rely often on imported plastic waste to operate their capacity.


In the meantime, massive landfills around the country are filling up and leaking to rivers and oceans because of the limited effectiveness of the waste collection when it comes to segregating waste types for efficient use by the recyclers.


Additionally, littering is still a too common habit for many, hence, the need to build awareness and educate the public, he said.


"At Nestle, we are convinced that through private and public partnerships we can change this for better and do it faster," he added.


ResourceNew Straits Times