Nestlé will be the first food and beverage company to pilot Airbus’s new Pléiades Neo satellites to drive transparency in its reforestation project.
The new satellite technology will monitor 150,000 shade trees over a 20-year period in Thai farms where Nestlé sources its coffee. Very high-resolution images will determine whether the trees planted in sourcing regions continue to thrive over a long-term period.
This approach will help the world’s biggest food company demonstrate the amount of carbon it is removing from the atmosphere through its Global Reforestation Program – a key part of its 2050 net zero emissions ambition.
Nestle executive vice-president and head of operations Magdi Batao says the business hopes to remove 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent as it aims to plant “200 million trees in our supply chains and sourcing landscapes by 2030.”
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More than 12 million trees were established through Nestle’s reforestation projects in Australia, China, Ghana and Thailand last year.
The satellite images are more accurate because you “need to go down to 30 centimetres, which is a sheet of paper,” Batato told Reuters.
“The EU (European Union) green taxonomy touches on a lot of points, and one point which is coming more and more to the table today is the point of landscapes,” he added.
The move comes amid global concerns about whether consumer goods companies are doing enough to reduce their carbon footprints.
Earlier this month, campaigners Mighty Earth and Changing Market Foundation reported that Nestlé is failing to meet UN net zero recommendations and emits around 8.74 million tonnes of C02 from its dairy operations alone.