Nestlé Nigeria Leads The Way In Environmental Sustainability
Nestlé Nigeria is reaffirming its commitment to environmental sustainability with a series of initiatives aimed at promoting behavioral change, fostering a circular waste management ecosystem, and creating a cleaner, healthier environment. The company’s efforts are not limited to its employees but extend to the communities surrounding its operations and the broader Nigerian populace.
In 2022, Nestlé Nigeria introduced an employee plastics collection scheme designed to inspire its staff to protect the environment and combat plastic pollution. The scheme encourages employees to adopt waste sorting practices at the source and engage in recycling to support sustainable environmental management. Employees who actively participate in the scheme have the opportunity to earn points, leading to exciting rewards and recognition from the management.
Moreover, Nestlé Nigeria has been collaborating with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre on the “Advancing Nutrition, Health, and Environmental Awareness through the Media” training program. This initiative equips journalists with the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate and educate the Nigerian public on global best practices and lifestyle choices that influence everyday living. The training empowers journalists to conduct fact-based reporting on nutrition, health, wellness, the environment, climate change, and corporate sustainability practices.
Nestlé’s commitment to sustainability also extends to the younger generation through its Sustainability Training for Kids. This program aims to instill a sustainability mindset in children from an early age, preparing them to become responsible stewards of the planet. In collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), the company provides children with information on waste management, introduces them to the concept of transforming waste into useful items, and encourages them to embrace positive behavioral changes that promote environmental sustainability. The program includes teaching children to sort waste at the source and providing segregated bins to participating schools.
Nigeria grapples with a nascent waste collection system, resulting in poorly managed waste ending up in waterways and clogging drainages, exacerbating environmental hazards such as flooding, which are increasingly linked to the effects of climate change. Nestlé acknowledges that addressing the plastic waste challenge requires behavioral change from all sectors of society and believes that change should begin internally.
Nestlé Nigeria is collaborating with both internal and external stakeholders to address the waste challenge in alignment with the company’s global vision of preventing its post-consumer packaging waste from entering waterways or becoming litter in the environment.
The company participates actively in the World Clean-Up Day, celebrated annually in September. Nestlé’s employees, under the Nestlé Cares initiative, the company’s global employee volunteering platform, join forces with the Africa Clean-Up Initiative (ACI), an NGO dedicated to fostering environmentally responsible citizens. Together, they engage in clean-up activities, awareness campaigns, and advocacy for environmental sustainability. This year, over 400 Nestlé employees across Nigeria joined the campaign, which included clean-up exercises in twelve markets throughout the country, powered by MAGGI, one of Nestlé’s leading brands.
Victoria Uwadoka, Nestlé Nigeria’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, stated, “At Nestlé, we are taking concrete actions to protect, renew, and restore the environment every day. We are conscious that indiscriminate waste disposal coupled with limited recovery services aggravate the waste crisis. We also recognize that creating awareness through advocacy is necessary on our journey towards a waste-free future. Our priorities include improving post-consumption plastic waste management by motivating behavioral changes and creating an efficient recovery system in collaboration with other industry and community stakeholders. We are also accelerating sustainability education through our employees, the media, our communities, and children in our Nestlé for healthier Kids beneficiary schools. The market clean-up exercises are one of the ways we have sustained our efforts of improving our environment over the past 5 years.”
Dr. Alexander Akhigbe, Founder/CEO of the African Clean-Up Initiative, emphasized the importance of clean-up exercises in keeping the environment clean and healthy. He expressed his organization’s dedication to raising environmentally responsible citizens and communities, working for the greater good of the planet. For this year’s campaign, the initiative ensured proper waste management, with over 6,660kg of solid waste and 79kg of recyclables collected across all locations.
Comrade Aremu Komolafe, a member of the Ojuwoye market committee in Mushin, Lagos State, welcomed volunteers from Nestlé Nigeria who joined traders and market leaders in cleaning up the bustling market. He acknowledged the substantial waste generated daily and highlighted the burden of maintaining cleanliness. He added that the cleanup initiative by Nestlé Nigeria would support the ongoing environmental sanitation efforts.
Nestlé Nigeria is an active member of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), a collaborative industry effort to promote post-consumption waste management and recycling. Employees from the company also participate in FBRA-led clean-up initiatives for the World Clean-Up Day.