In an effort to reinforce all its sustainability initiatives, strategies and resources to help mitigate sustainability challenges and strengthen its contribution to a waste-free future, Nestlé has launched its long-awaited RE sustainability initiative in South Africa.
The initiative will focus on three key pillars to tackle sustainability issues: Rethink, Reduce and Repurpose. It also encourages everyone to use these pillars in their own ways by making sustainability more practical, accessible, motivating and rewarding. Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) broke down the three pillars and this is what he had to say:
Rethink speaks to rethinking and encouraging the broader society to rethink their relationship with the environment. On our part, we intend driving this by educating the public about ways in which their behaviours can be shifted to better serve the environment. Some of the examples include water conversation, recycling and sustaining environmentally-responsible practices
Reduce speaks to our commitment towards reducing our environmental impact to zero. This is part of our global ambition to strive for zero impact on the environment by 2030. Therefore, we will do this by driving the reduction across our value chain; for example, food and plastic waste as well as operational inefficiencies that contribute to waste.
Repurpose focuses on upcycling and reusing materials. This is where we accelerate our circular economy business models and projects to show commitment and leadership in this space. Through this initiative, we intend driving a paradigm shift by formulating and implementing practical solutions that will safeguard the environment. Being a leading food and beverage company in the world, we have drawn lessons from other markets that have successfully implemented such initiatives. We are therefore in a better position to replicate these in South Africa. After all, sustainability challenges are societal challenges which therefore require societal responses.
Furthermore, Tohlang highlighted that sustainability challenges cannot be addressed through a singular approach. “The world is plagued by sustainability challenges, whether one looks at these from the scourge of managing post-consumer waste, access to water and water scarcity in our parts of the world, impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security, ecological degradation due to industrial activity,” he noted.