Nestlé carefully considers the environmental impact of packaging as an integral part of its product design. Since the early 1990’s, we have been focusing on reducing the amount of packaging we use through our global source reduction programme – eliminating unnecessary packaging and reducing weight while ensuring product quality.
Nestlé’s diverse product range means we draw on a range of materials – including paper, wood, metal, glass and plastic – for our packaging. Through our Packaging Policy we are focused on reducing the environmental impact of our packaging, whilst not compromising on safety, quality and consumer acceptance.
Our overarching packaging strategy comes together around:
- Working with our employees to develop the right procedures, the right behaviours and the right skills.
- Working with our consumers to encourage greater recycling and waste minimisation.
- Working with our partners to ensure our suppliers are choosing the right materials.
This approach, along with our policy, is aligned with the New Zealand Packaging Accord and the Australian National Packaging Covenant (NPC). These covenants are important in establishing the framework for addressing the environmental impact of packaging across its full lifecycle.
The challenges of packaging
Nestlé Oceania’s decisions about packaging are informed and influenced by many factors. Key amongst them are the expectations of our consumers. While our consumers are becoming more and more environmentally aware, adequate packaging remains a key concern, especially when it comes to the freshness and safety of all products.
There is also a growing trend – reflecting smaller households in New Zealand and Australia toward smaller pack sizes and multi-packs. This in turn contributes to the use of more packaging per product.
Because packaging remains one of those challenging areas, our response is multi-dimensional.
First, we continue to focus on the areas where we have direct control, such as increasing the recycled content of the packaging we use and increasing the recyclability of our products.
Second, while the amount of packaging we use is crucial, we also want to better understand the ‘full’ environmental impact of our packaging, from how and where the materials are sourced, their transport and how they are eventually disposed. Our use of PIQET© (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool) helps us do this and its application often challenges current thinking when it comes to packaging decisions, and the trade-offs between material selection, packaging sizes and weights, recyclability and recycled content and their true impact on the environment.
Third, we have a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for our packaging performance. We work with our suppliers to improve the accuracy and frequency of our packaging data and to determine the most appropriate KPIs for our business.
Environmental labelling is an important component of our packaging strategy. It helps our consumers know what to do with our packaging when they have finished with it. Environmental labelling is a requirement on all of our products.
Our labelling consists of information to assist in identifying if the packaging can be recycled or how it should be disposed of.
Click here for more information on Understanding Labeling
Recycling plays a significant role in packaging minimisation. Where possible, recycling information is put on our packaging. It is important that consumers sort recyclable containers from their household waste and put these into their recycling services.