Francis Pérez
Shared Value Creation & Sustainability Director
Nestlé México
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View from the Top

Integrate Climate Change into Risk Management

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 11:22

Q: What is behind Nestlé’s strong climate change position and what is its strategy to reduce its emissions globally?

A: With the highest carbon dioxide levels since the Industrial Revolution, the resulting changes in climate may threaten global food security in general and our business in particular. The long-term supply of safe, high-quality ingredients may be affected as yields fall and production areas shift. Manufacturing or distribution of food products may be hampered because of extreme weather events. That is why reducing air emissions and adapting to climate change are integrated into our risk management processes and why our response is a holistic one.

Given our global footprint, we use many different mixes of fuels and energies throughout the world, which depend on local supply and market conditions. Our overall strategy focuses on improving energy efficiency and switching to cleaner fuels and energies. Procuring renewable electricity is a key element of that strategy.

Q: What route is Nestlé taking to become 100 percent renewable and how is Nestlé México contributing?

A: In August 2014, Nestlé endorsed the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) initiative to procure 100 percent of electricity supply from renewable sources within the shortest practical timescale, which is fully aligned with our own explicit commitments. Importantly, the endorsement of this initiative by Nestlé and other large companies sends a strong signal to the market and contributes to accelerating the growth of renewable electricity markets well beyond our own needs. This ultimately helps lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy in line with COP21’s Paris Agreement.

Since 2013, Nestlé México has sourced 80 percent of its electricity from wind power and expects that in 2017 we will supply all electricity from renewable energy sources. We agreed this under the previous law that considered the existence of self-supply societies. We established a contract with Enel Green Power; it has become our supply partner.

Q: To what extent has the Energy Reform contributed to making Nestlé’s clean energy goals easier to achieve?

A: With the Energy Reform, we have new and better options for competition, establishing contracts with different companies. We are analyzing all our options to achieve 100 percent supply from renewable sources. In the past we decided to go for wind energy because a study showed it was the best solution at the time in terms of the cost/benefit ratio.

Q: What advice do you have for companies that would like to incorporate renewables but are wary of a negative impact on competitiveness?

A: Climate change requires everyone’s attention, including society, governments, the private sector, NGOs and academia. It is necessary for all companies to understand that we, as humanity and as a business, are vulnerable to climate change effects. Food production depends on the health of the environment. If we do not start doing different things, we cannot have different outcomes.

Renewable energy technologies are becoming more attractive every year and competitiveness is not compromised. We can take advantage of those technologies and realize savings in energy costs while supporting climate change mitigation. Certainly, this is a business continuity decision for long-term success.