scorecardCoffee giant Nespresso commits to making all products carbon neutral by 2022
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Coffee giant Nespresso commits to making all products carbon neutral by 2022

Marguerite Ward   

Coffee giant Nespresso commits to making all products carbon neutral by 2022
LifeScience2 min read

Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff
Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff said business leaders "can't wait" any longer to address climate change.      Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc
  • By 2022, every cup of coffee and espresso drink Nespresso produces (including at-home pods) will be carbon neutral, the company told Business Insider.
  • Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff said addressing climate change is imperative for success and is calling on other leaders to take a bolder stance on climate change.
  • To meet its ambitious goal, Nespresso will invest in reforestation, renewable energy (like solar power and wind power), and work with nonprofits to boost soil health and prevent erosion.
  • Nespresso offset its business operations to be carbon neutral in 2017.

Nespresso, known for its strong espresso and coffee, is taking a bold stance on climate change.

The company told Business Insider that by 2022, every cup of coffee and espresso drink it produces in-store, as well as at-home pods, will be carbon neutral.

In other words, all the carbon emissions associated with the growing, production, and brewing of each coffee will be offset, so the net emissions of damaging greenhouse gasses is zero.

"We can't wait, simply said. We have to do it now. We have to act now. Everyone — customers, employees —is expecting brands to generate more positive impact," Guillaume Le Cunff, CEO of Nespresso told Business Insider.

The announcement comes just days after 150 business leaders and investors, including Google and Apple, published an open letter calling on the European Union for tougher carbon emissions standards, and right before the business and nonprofit community convene for Climate Week 2020 in the US. It also comes as the US faces some of the most devastating wildfires, which have been worsened by climate change.

Le Cunff, who's worked in sustainability for the company for over 12 years, said it's his personal mission to help reduce environmental damage. But he also acknowledges that addressing climate change is a busines imperative.

"Climate change is already a reality for farmers and our core brand essence is to deliver the finest, the most exclusive, the most surprising coffee profile on Earth. If we don't act, and if these growers are not able to make it and keep growing coffee, simply said, the risk is to be out of business," the CEO said.

farmer, coffee farmer, coffee grower
Juancho Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Nespresso reached carbon neutrality in its operations in 2017 through reduction of emissions and planting trees. Over the last 10 years, it's reduced its carbon emissions by 30%. The company's new commitment will focus on emissions that occur in its supply chain and the "product life cycle," per a company statement.

To reach this ambitious two-year goal, Nespresso will have thousands of trees planted in and around coffee farms to sequester carbon and rejuvenate the soil, which is stripped of its nutrients through farming practices. It will also invest in "clean energy solutions," which can range from everything from solar energy to wind power turbines for its approximately 110,000 farmers in 15 countries including Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica.

The company will also continue to reduce its carbon emissions, aiming toward operating 100% on renewable energy.

The move will likely attract consumers, who are increasingly demanding brands take action against climate change.

"I really believe that leaders in corporations have a role to play, can make a difference, have a duty to respond to global issues," Le Cunff said.