In The Wash
Nestlé's Actions that add up to Net Zero: Dairy Farms
Nestlé are promoting, via social media, their claimed pathway to net zero for their dairy farms by stating that they will absorb carbon in soils and improve nutrition of cows, branding this as ‘regenerative’. These are vague claims that lack evidence.
Nestlé’s video promoting their net zero plans for their dairy production, which was promoted on LinkedIn, is an overinflation of green claims. Whilst soil is an important carbon sink and healthy soil is essential to a healthy food system, soil’s carbon absorption is determined by the type of soil that is being worked with, and it also absorbs less carbon over time – meanwhile dairy production will continue to produce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.
Animal feed changes and additives that might be given as part of improved nutrition may reduce emissions directly (e.g. methane supressing additives) and also through increased productivity (more milk from the same amount of cows). However, the reduction potential of this claim is not quantified. What’s more, Nestlé uses these claims around methane in the promotion video to show how green they are, but they fail to produce a credible plan on how they will reduce and report their substantial methane emissions.
Nestlé’s climate plans have been criticised generally, most recently in the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor which ranked them low for both integrity and transparency. Before that, Changing Market’s joint report on methane emissions from big meat and dairy estimated Nestlé’s greenhouse gas emissions footprint for its dairy operations alone to be 18.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Considering these vast emissions, any climate plan from Nestlé that fails to adequately report and address methane falls at the first hurdle.
Doesn't reflect the full life cycle