Every year, World Environment Day give us an opportunity to regroup, highlight our achievements, and give credit where it’s due. It also allows us to bring important environmental issues into sharp focus and prompt us to step up our efforts.
Our ambition to achieve zero environmental impact in our operations by 2030 entails complex actions, but with concrete milestones and the ongoing commitment of all employees.
For the Planet – Our Contributions
One of our closest milestones is achieving zero waste to landfill by 2021. This means no waste generated on our compound should end up in a landfill. We are proud to have recently achieved this milestone at our operations in Jamaica, and are on track at our Valsayn Factory in Trinidad
. How are we doing this?
- Our Sludge Belt Press Filter implemented at our factory in 2016 resulted in a drastic 46% reduction in waste to landfill. Sludge waste is transformed into fertilizer and donated to the Ministry of Agriculture for distribution to farmers
- We provide unused product in Jamaica and Trinidad to local farmers as feed for their animals. Farmers are trained on how to properly reuse this product as animal feed through our Nestlé Animal Feeding programme
- We collect, bale and recycle 100% of our packing including used pallets at our operations in Jamaica, and 90% in Trinidad
- We removed individual waste bins from employees work stations, and our internal recycling programme prompts employees to sort waste in larger centrally located recycling bins
- We’ve introduced composters on site that convert our organic waste to fertilizer
- We’ve eliminated single use plastics from our canteens, and encourage employees to #BYOB (Bring your own bottle/bowl) for lunch, coffee and water, with the option to purchase vegware compostable containers if needed.
- We’re partnering with Megamart in Jamaica on recycling of our Dolce Gusto Pods
Our ongoing commitment to water sustainability dates back to the 1980s, when Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago was the first company in the Caribbean to install an Effluent Waste Water Treatment Plant at our factory in Valsayn. Over the past 3 years, we have invested in initiatives to improve our water efficiency. These included:
- The homogenizer Soft Water Recovery Initiative, with an estimated savings of 212m3 of soft water per month, and a reduction in soft water usage of 20%
- The commissioning of our Aseptic Tank Water Recovery system, which recovers water used during pre-sterilization and reduces potable water usage by 17%
- The introduction of a system to use effluent water from our Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) for operation of the factory’s belt press filter, resulting in a 10% reduction in potable water usage
- The introduction of a Waste Water Treatment Plant at our Jamaica site, recovering water which is used to irrigate the lawns and beds
We process all wastewater generated by our factory to ensure that it meets all environmental parameters and strict quality targets before being discharged into the environment. We also conduct regular monitoring of our wastewater operation to ensure compliance with the Water Pollution Rules, 2001 and Nestlé Requirements.
Conserving energy and minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions are important areas of focus. The construction of our new compound in Jamaica allowed us to engineer efficient energy practices into our building designs. In addition:
- Our Solar Project in Jamaica (currently 70% complete) will ultimately offset up to 40% of Nestlé Jamaica’s load from the utility grid. The estimated indirect benefits from this will amount to a reduction of 1.290,000 kg of carbon emissions.
- Our reduction in Compressed Air Outlet Pressure at the factory from 110Psi to 95Psi, generated an energy saving of 4860 kW/hr, and 0.6% savings of total electrical energy consumption per month
- Improvements to our Boiler Efficiency resulted in a 3% savings of total fuel energy consumption per month
- Optimization of our Ammonia plant’s compressors resulted in an estimated energy saving of 33,034 KW/hr, a 12% reduction in energy usage for this area
Our continuous programme in place to reduce emissions generated by our plant led to a 14% decrease in GHG emissions from 2016 to 2017
Complex but equally important is driving behavior changes, getting buy-in through campaigns that educate or highlight environmental issues. These efforts can be simple but tremendously effective. These are some examples:
- We’ve incorporated recycling into our Nestlé for Healthier Kids programme and summer camp, where kids play games that teach them how to sort different wastes to be recycled, and are taught the benefits of recycling.
- Internally, we’ve run #BYOB – Bring your own bowl/bottle programmes where our employees are provided with reusable items and encouraged to bring their own reusables to work, leading up to the elimination of single use plastics from our canteens. Our internal recycling programme also aims to make employees more conscious of the daily waste we generate. These actions have been a catalyst to help everyone understand more about reducing our environmental impact and drive adopting these behaviours at work and home.
- For Global World Recycling Day this year, we partnered with the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) Adopt A River Programme in Trinidad, on the 100 bins against plastic pollution project, donating recycling bins for recycling projects in schools and communities across the country in order to address and improve the pollution culture locally.
Why does this matter?
If the whole world consumed natural resources at the same rate as the richest countries, we would need between three and five planet Earths to meet demand (Global Footprint Network
). With spiraling consumption, mismanagement of solid waste and inefficient production processes impacting the world around us, we need to transform how we use and reuse the world’s natural resources.
Our work on safeguarding the environment contributes to SDGs 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17. Our ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations by 2030.
We know that we still have a long way to go. We’re currently working on many projects that will take us towards our short term goals of zero waste to landfill by 2021, all packaging being recyclable or reusable by 2025, standardized food date labels to reduce food waste by 2020 and much more.
In October of 2018, Nestlé won the prestigious Green Manufacturer of the Year Award, presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturing Association. The award recognised Nestlé for its leadership in employing green technologies in manufacturing and for its success in positively contributing to the sustainability of the environment and by extension that of Trinidad and Tobago.
"This is only the beginning: Nestlé is striving for zero waste to landfill by 2021, and zero environmental impact in our operations by 2030, and we firmly believe that we can achieve this. We also know that we can use our influence in the Caribbean to affect positive change, and will continue to support employee, consumer and industry efforts to create environmentally sustainable businesses" - Patricio Torres, Head of Market Anglo Dutch Caribbean
Nestlé team takes a moment to celebrate the hard work that has gone in to tackling environmental challenges towards a better future.