Nestlé announces KitKat brand to become carbon neutral by 2025

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

The KitKat brand has a history of improving its sustainability, owners Nestlé claims. Pic: Nestlé
The KitKat brand has a history of improving its sustainability, owners Nestlé claims. Pic: Nestlé

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KitKat, one of the world's most popular chocolate brands that is still produced at the former Rowntree factory in York where it was launched in 1935, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Owners Nestlé said KitKat aims to reduce the emissions generated through the sourcing of its ingredients, the manufacturing of the product and its distribution by more than 50% as part of the plan.

Most emissions occur when producing KitKat's ingredients like cocoa and milk. The brand will reduce these emissions as much as possible through initiatives like restoring forests and supporting a transition to regenerative agriculture.

For any emissions that cannot be eliminated, the brand will invest in high quality offsetting based on natural climate solutions, Nestlé said in a statement.

KitKat is also working with The Carbon Trust, a global climate change and sustainability consultancy, to measure the brand's current carbon footprint and will complete this process later this year.

Protecting and restoring forests

Deforestation is one of the main global drivers of carbon emissions in the agricultural supply chain. Nestlé said it used a variety of tools for the past 10 years, including certification, supply chain mapping and satellite imagery, to achieve its no-deforestation commitment.

The KitKat brand will expand its work with cocoa, palm oil, cereals, sugar and dairy farmers to implement regenerative practices. Farming methods such as reducing synthetic inputs, better management of soils and tree planting can help draw down carbon from the atmosphere, enhance biodiversity and boost on-farm productivity.

To support this, KitKat will help farmers plant five million shade trees where it sources its cocoa by 2025, a spokesperson said.

Nestlé said its KitKat brand is working to improve the environmental footprint of its factories and  has already reduced the energy required to produce the famous crispy snack by more than 40% per ton of product since 2000.

The KitKat brand has a history of improving the sustainability of its supply chain that dates back more than a decade. In 2009, Nestlé launched the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and by 2016, KitKat sourced 100% of its cocoa from the programme. Under the Plan, Nestlé has planted more than 15 million cocoa trees and invested CHF 300m ($327m) in cocoa sustainability.

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