Nestlé will plant at least three million trees in key sourcing locations in the Americas by 2021 in the initial phase of a broader reforestation initiative.
The initiative forms part of the company’s plan to deploy “nature-based solutions” to absorb more carbon, transforming its supply chain and making it more resilient, the company said.
The commitment will also contribute to achieving its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions pledge by 2050, and will initially be rolled out in Brazil and Mexico this month.
The Lausanne, Switzerland-headquartered company has partnered with non-profit organization One Tree Planted (OTP) that works to restore forests around the world and protect biodiversity habitats. In 2018, OTP said it planted 1.3 million trees around the world.
Working with OTP and its associated partner, the World Resources Institute (WRI), Nestlé will select specific planting locations where palm, soy, paper, coffee, or coconut are grown, and where ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, peatlands, or mangroves can be restored.
Magdi Batato, executive vice president and head of operations at Nestlé said its goal was not to compensate emissions but to “truly adopt nature-based solutions”.
“Planting trees not only captures carbon but also helps rebuild forests and communities, protect threatened and endangered biodiversity, promote soil nutrients, and conserve water – all of which help increase the resilience of farmers,” he said.
"Reforestation also complements our commitment to halt deforestation in our supply chains. Tackling climate change requires multiple solutions."
'Our intention is to use local, natural, or native species'
Nestlé did not communicate which specific tree species have been identified for reforestation in areas where palm, soy, coffee, coconut etc are. grown but said the WRI would provide the technical expertise for each project on the ground.
“Our intention is certainly to use local or natural, native species recommended by local NGO reforestation organizations and adapted to the planting locations,” a spokesperson for the company told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
“We aim at helping [the] restoration of ecosystems and contributing to a greater biodiversity. Depending on the recommendations of our partners, we might also plant trees in non-forest environments, for example, trees that have been removed by farmers or promotion / adoption of agroforestry practices on farms.”
Asked whether the program will help farmers establish agroforestry practices on their land, the spokesperson said: “Depending on the needs and possibilities, the answer is yes. Agroforestry practices have multiple benefits including reduced erosion, increased biodiversity, and diversification of income. The incorporation of trees in fields or pastures also enables CO2 sequestration which reduces climate change.”
Nestlé said it did not yet have a global figure for the total investment but that reforestation usually costs between US$1 to US$15 per tree depending on the location and type of tree, among other factors.