A LOW CARBON ECONOMY IS THE ONLY FUTURE
Coffee farmers are seeing the impacts of climate change first hand. Extreme weather patterns are becoming more and more prevalent and scientific forecasts predict that by 2050, climate change could reduce the global area suitable for coffee production by 50%1.
Nespresso’s climate journey began in 2009 and we are taking decisive action on the causes and consequences of climate change both within and outside our direct control. Science-based targets now provide companies such as Nespresso, with a clearly defined pathway to reduce emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C.
1 Source: Expected global suitability of coffee, cashew and avocado due to climate change | PLOS ONE
THE ROAD TO NET ZERO
Nespresso’s reductions and removals contribute to the Nestlé target of net zero by 2050, which is approved by the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi) and aligned with the Paris Agreement. However, we are committed to accelerating our actions and aim to reach net zero by 2035 at the earliest, with a milestone to achieve net-zero emissions in AAA green coffee production in 2030. We aim to submit our net-zero targets for SBTi approval in 2023.
One ongoing challenge we face in reducing emissions, is doing so, at the same time as our business grows. Nevertheless, we will continue to take bold actions across our value chain so that we can reduce our GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 vs our 2018 baseline. Our net-zero roadmap also includes carbon removals. We have long believed in natural climate solutions that benefit both people and the planet. That’s why, between 2014 and 2021, we planted six million trees in AAA landscapes, 4.2 million of which will contribute to carbon removal over their lifetime.
AGRICULTURE REPRESENTS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT AND THE LARGEST REDUCTION OPPORTUNITY
Our corporate footprint is calculated according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol. It is the sum of GHG emissions from our owned assets (factories and offices), our suppliers and our consumers.
Just one percent of our total GHG emissions lie within Scope 1 and 2 – those emissions generated within our manufacturing, overheads and distribution. The remaining 99% reside within Scope 3 (i.e. occurring outside of our owned assets and direct control) as highlighted in the pie chart.
The most significant impact (39%) is attributable to the green coffee supply – coffee cultivation on farms and cherry processing. This is why we are building on 20 years of direct farmer relationships through the AAA Program and accelerating their transition to regenerative agriculture, while improving their prosperity and resilience. It is estimated that the AAA Program already sets an industry leading benchmark for average green coffee emissions5. Primary data from 10 key origins revealed a lower emissions factor in green coffee for some origins, bringing our overall emissions factor below its current level6. At the other end of our value chain, our direct to consumer business model puts Nespresso directly in the homes and hands of coffee drinkers worldwide, which strengthens our ability to influence sustainable behaviours.
5 Average green coffee emissions based on the World Food LCA database) and Green coffee supply represents the largest opportunity for reduction
6 According to 2022 primary data, the weighted average emission factor for the top 10 origins of Nespresso green coffee is 3.5 kg of CO2 e per kg of green coffee
“WE HAVE COLLATED STRONG PRIMARY DATA TO SHOW WHERE OUR EMISSIONS COME FROM AND HAVE A CLEAR PATHWAY FOR A NET‑ZERO ACCELERATION TOWARDS 2035, AND IN GREEN COFFEE EVEN EARLIER.”
BENJAMIN GYGER, GLOBAL HEAD OF STRATEGY, NESPRESSO
THREE LEVERS FOR DECARBONISATION
To achieve our ambitious goals, we need to ramp up the work already underway, with three levers of decarbonisation central to this intention.
Accelerating the transition to regenerative agriculture
The continued expansion of regenerative agriculture across AAA farms will provide many benefits. Firstly, nature-based practices that replace the use of fertilisers, without compromising on quality, will play a central role. Our goal is to source 95% Regenerative Coffee by 2030. Carbon removals, scaling agroforestry and innovating with long-term carbon capture solutions in the AAA supply chain, will make an important contribution as well. We aim to plant an additional four million trees every year. In addition to tree planting, regenerative practices, including crop diversification and reduced tillage, can enable soil to store an even greater amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. By accelerating regenerative agricultural practices and carbon removals in the AAA supply chain, we plan to reach our net-zero target in green coffee by 2030.
Innovation and renovation in products, systems and markets
Already, our actions to reduce emissions relating to our products and systems have resulted in a 24% reduction in the carbon footprint of each Nespresso cup7 (2020 versus 2009). We plan to close the gap by investigating circular innovations with our suppliers, monitoring progress and making meaningful reductions as we learn. As examples, 80% of the aluminium we use for home-use capsules is recycled aluminium and we are increasing the use of recycled and recyclable materials in the design of machines and accessories, as well as promoting machine refurbishment through our RELOVE campaign.
7 Carbon footprint reduction of a cup of 40ml of Nespresso coffee in 2020 (vs 2009 LCA study), as measured by independent external partner Quantis; starting in 2021 our corporate carbon footprint reduction is calculated per ml
Optimisation of energy and logistics
We take definitive action to increase efficiency and the use of renewable energy across our operations. Green coffee delivery includes transport by truck from farm to harbour, transport by ship from origin harbour to Rotterdam and transport by train from Rotterdam to Nespresso factories. We are currently exploring lower-carbon fuel options with our road and sea freight partners to reduce carbon emissions on land and at sea. All three of our Nespresso production centres are zero waste to landfill, and our production processes have been optimised to ensure heat and water are recovered and reused whenever possible. Inspired by BREAM and LEED certification, The Positive Boutique Protocol is a performance scorecard that will help all permanent Nespresso boutiques drive further positive impact.