Nestlé bid to help address climate change impact in cocoa

Collaborates with suppliers Cargill and ETG, Beyond Beans

Nestlé collaborates with suppliers to help address climate change impact in cocoa.

As part of its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, Nestlé has launched two new projects, developed with suppliers Cargill and ETG | Beyond Beans, both aiming to reduce and remove carbon emissions from its supply chains. The five-year projects will promote agroforestry, accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture and support the reforestation of degraded lands around cocoa farming communities, the company said.

Different, multi-purpose species of shade trees will be distributed to farmers, who will learn tree planting and pruning. Shade trees are used to help reduce the harsh effects of the sun and provide moisture-rich spaces for cocoa crops to survive during the dry season. They can also improve water management and enhance on-farm biodiversity, as well as absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.

Collectively, the projects aim to plant over two million shade trees on land managed by close to 20 000 farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Together, the projects are estimated to deliver a reduction and removal of over 500 000 metric tonnes of carbon over a 20-year period.

“These projects are important milestones on our journey to net zero. We’re working to address our emissions all the way to the farms we source from,” said Darrell High, hlobal cocoa manager at Nestlé. “Long-lasting forest protection can only happen when collaborating with fully committed suppliers, just like Cargill and ETG | Beyond Beans. We also depend on the participation of local communities, who have an impact on the forests and can help find land-use solutions that are best suited for the local reality.”

Close collaboration with local communities is a key aspect of the projects. Their involvement includes selecting community-owned fallow land for reforestation work and starting with the establishment of tree nurseries. These nurseries produce and grow seedlings for later transplantation on-farm. Participating farmers will sign up on a voluntary basis and should already be part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

The survival rate of the trees is also an important success factor. Farmers will receive an incentive payment when they plant the tree seedlings and care for them during the critical initial years. Regular farm visits will also be performed to monitor and provide advice and technical assistance where needed.

“We are proud to partner with Nestlé on this ground-breaking carbon reduction project that transitions away from business as usual,” said Remi van Balen, program manager, agroforestry and environment, ETG | Beyond Beans. “Our project design has a holistic landscape approach which goes beyond cocoa plots and involves the whole community in reforestation initiatives. These initiatives not only create job opportunities but are also connecting, restoring and protecting valuable community forests.”

“This initiative can really make a difference,” said Ursule Gatta, Cargill partnership officer Ivory Coast. “Our ambition is to scale up the project to cover 18 cooperatives over five years, aligned with the Nestlé Income Accelerator program. We are very proud to be a part of this.”

Both ETG and Beyond Beans and Cargill also support the implementation of Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Program.

A robust carbon monitoring and accounting framework

Monitoring and verification is critical for ensuring long-term success. Each project is set up with a monitoring plan that covers the project’s lifetime. Those plans will track both the number of trees and the corresponding tonnes of carbon dioxide sequestered. This will help ensure verifiable and permanent carbon removals within Nestlé’s supply chain. Non-carbon benefits generated from the projects, such as the impact, appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of reforestation and natural landscape restoration initiatives, will also be monitored. High-resolution images from satellite monitoring will be used to help ensure that the trees planted continue to thrive over the long term.

Forests can absorb approximately 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. This is the equivalent to one third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels. More than two-thirds of Nestlé’s GHG emissions come from sourcing its ingredients, Nestlé has committed to planting and growing 200 million trees in the regions it sources from globally by 2030. On the road to net zero by 2050, Nestlé aims to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% versus its 2018 baseline by 2025 and by 50% by 2030. In 2023, the company achieved a 13.58% net reduction in emissions.


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