Nestlé is withdrawing its earlier promises to make brands such as KitKat and Perrier carbon-neutral. Such promises increasingly draw criticism for not having any real impact.
Zero emissions remain emissions
Just like Gucci owner Kering earlier, Nestlé is now also abandoning its ambitions to become carbon-neutral for some brands. The problem with those pledges is that companies continue to emit, but offset their emissions by planting forests, for example. In other words, they only aim for “net zero” emissions (i.e. continued emissions minus offsets), without reducing their own emissions to zerro.
These pledges are misleading, according to environmental organisations – and increasingly more courts too. Danone‘s subsidiary Evian is on trial in the United States for its carbon-neutrality claim, while Arla Foods is no longer allowed to use the term “net zero climate footprint” in Sweden. In France, a consumer association is suing Nestlé for claiming Nespresso is carbon-neutral.
No more offsetting
Nestlé will now stop offsetting, but still aims for net zero emissions by 2050. The brand manufacturer says it is shifting focus to reducing emissions in its own operations and the group’s supply chain. One way it plans to do this is by helping farmers with regenerative agriculture. Although there are also doubts about that approach, as measuring concrete results is difficult.
The group is also dropping plans to make its Sweet Earth Foods and meat substitutes Garden Gourmet brands carbon-neutral, Bloomberg reports. However, some Nestlé brands still flaunt their carbon-neutrality, including vitamin company Garden of Life.