Nestlé and the Story behind Vietnam’s Most Sustainable Business

DNHN - Nestlé Vietnam continues to lead the Top 100 “Sustainable Businesses in 2023” in the manufacturing sector, as voted by the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

This is also the third consecutive year that Nestlé Vietnam has been recognised as the Most Sustainable Business in Vietnam in the manufacturing sector. In addition, the company is also in the Top 5 pioneering businesses implementing the circular economy (CE) and reducing carbon emissions. In 2023, not only making commitments, Nestlé Vietnam continues to pioneer with strong actions in promoting the implementation of the CE model, regenerative agriculture, innovation and digital transformation to move towards a green economy and sustainable development.

The NESCAFÉ Plan project implemented by Nestlé Vietnam helps farmers farm sustainably
The NESCAFÉ Plan project implemented by Nestlé Vietnam helps farmers farm sustainably.

The journey to conserve resources for future generations

Currently, agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for more than 2/3 of total greenhouse gas emissions in the Nestlé Group’s supply chain. Based on this awareness, Nestlé focuses on groups of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain, as well as play a role in promoting the transition to regenerative agricultural farming methods, contributing to ensuring a sustainable food supply, addressing the issue of climate change, increasing livelihoods and biodiversity.

In Vietnam, regenerative agriculture has been integrated and implemented within the framework of the NESCAFÉ Plan since 2011. After 12 years of implementation, the NESCAFÉ Plan programme has helped more than 330,000 farming households receive training on sustainable coffee farming. At the same time, Nestlé Vietnam has supported more than 73.5 million disease-resistant and high-yield seedlings, helping to replant 73,500 hectares of old coffee area.

Nestlé Vietnam’s agricultural officers and experts have always worked closely with farmers, helping them change their farming habits, saving up to 60% of irrigation water and reducing 20% of chemical fertilisers and pesticides while still ensuring crop yields.

In 2023, to continue promoting regenerative and low-emission agriculture, in June, Nestlé Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. According to the content of the Memorandum of Understanding, the cooperation aims to promote and share regenerative agricultural practices, low-emission agriculture, and climate change response; promote technology transfer, research, development and digital transformation; and promote multilateral cooperation.

At the same time, Nestlé officially launched the project “Sustainable coffee farming according to the agroforestry model” in Vietnam, aiming to plant more than 2.3 million trees, contributing to reducing absorption and storing about 480,000 tons of CO2 in 5 years (2023 - 2027). In production, the application of the CE model has helped all of Nestlé Vietnam’s factories achieve the goal of “Zero waste to landfill” since 2015.

At the Nestlé Tri An factory, Nestlé Vietnam’s largest and most modern coffee factory, thanks to the application of the CE model, the factory can reduce more than 14,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year during coffee processing. In addition, 100% of the company’s post-production coffee grounds are reused as biomass, helping to reduce gas consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. Non-hazardous sludge from production activities after being treated is also used to produce fertiliser. Sand waste from the boiler is supplied to local non-fired brick manufacturers for use in construction projects. Wastewater in the coffee production process is treated, recycled, and reused for the boiler. Thanks to that, the factory saves more than 112,000 m3 of water/year.

Nestlé Group CEO Mark Schneider announces the launch of the project “Sustainable coffee farming according to the agroforestry model” in Vietnam
Nestlé Group CEO Mark Schneider announces the launch of the project “Sustainable coffee farming according to the agroforestry model” in Vietnam.

Maintaining a people-centric approach

In addition to environmental activities, Nestlé focuses on people in its sustainable development strategy and practices the “S” (Social) factor in the ESG pillar. The company cooperates with the Vietnam Women’s Union to equip knowledge and improve livelihoods for women in rural areas through the programme “Nestlé accompanies women”.

Deployed in December 2020, the programme has now expanded to 21 provinces nationwide, training 13,000 members on knowledge, nutrition skills and healthy living. The programme has initiated and maintained a sustainable livelihood model along with programmes to promote digital application in 790 communes, with 1,840 models nationwide as of September 2023. In addition, Nestlé also implements a commitment to empowering women through the NESCAFÉ Plan programme.

In Nestlé Vietnam’s working environment, people are also the focus of human resource development strategies. Nestlé aims for a multicultural, inclusive, fair and equal working environment. This is also evidenced by the fact that the proportion of women in leadership positions in the company reaches 54%.

At the end of October 2023, Nestlé Vietnam was honoured as the “Outstanding Enterprise for Workers” in 2023, in a programme chaired by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI). This is also the fourth consecutive time that Nestlé Vietnam has received this title.

In November 2023, Nestlé Vietnam was honoured with the Top 1 position in the ranking of Best Places to Work in Vietnam 2023 (Large Enterprise Group) announced by Anphabe.

Sharing about the achievements of sustainable development, Mr Binu Jacob, General Director of Nestlé Vietnam, said: “Nestlé Vietnam is extremely proud of the important steps forward in its sustainable development efforts. The company will continue to strive to implement ESG, including environmental, social and governance aspects, while developing a circular economy model, bringing positive impacts to people, and the planet, and contributing to the overall development of the country”.

2023 is a memorable year for Nestlé Vietnam with impressive milestones and achievements. It is also a proud recognition of Nestlé’s continuous efforts to fulfil its commitment to long-term investment and sustainable development in Vietnam.

Pham Ha

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