Planting the seed
Soil may seem like an unlikely hero when you hear about our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. But what many people don’t realise is that soil plays a unique role in storing carbon from the atmosphere.
Even better, we already have the perfect vehicle to capture carbon and get it into soil – trees! Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees play a crucial role in removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil.
We know that restoring natural landscapes will play an essential role in reversing the effects of negative climate change impacts and biodiversity loss. These natural ecosystems and forests are not only able to remove and store carbon, but also store water and provide habitat for many species.
For this reason, we’re aiming to plant 10 million trees in Australia by 2025 with our partners Greening Australia, One Tree Planted and Canopy.
The ambitious project is part of Nestlé’s Global Reforestation Program, which aims to plant 200 million trees globally by 2030 and is about actively transforming landscapes. We are working to build a foundation of local projects across the globe to accelerate our progress and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This program is another step on Nestlé’s regeneration journey, which also includes our commitment to regenerative agriculture and forest positive program – ‘doing good’ for people and planet in our sourcing landscapes.
Establishing the 10 million trees in Australia, a biodiverse mix of species, will sequester an estimated 2.1 million tonnes of CO2. In fact, averaged over the project lifetime, this is equivalent to fuel emissions from more than 25,000 cars1 each year.
Turn over a new leaf: How tree planting makes an impact
Our long-term commitment on reforestation is about so much more than just planting trees.
Removing carbon from the atmosphere is just one of the benefits of tree planting. Forests and bushland are key to preserving biodiversity. The 10 million trees will help to improve habitats for fauna, enhance the water quality and restore degraded soils and landscapes in these areas.
Our Nestlé Reforestation Program will support the livelihoods of millions of people around the world, including landholders here in Australia. Tree planting programs like this also bring positive outcomes for regional communities and economies.
Importantly, the trees will be planted in various regions throughout Australia linked to areas where we source our raw materials. By conserving and restoring these landscapes and their ecosystems, we can advance our transition to regenerative food systems and help build resilience in landscape function.
Partners in planting
We have set ourselves the target of net zero emissions by 2050 and laid out an ambitious roadmap to achieve this. However, we cannot do this alone – collaboration is key.
That’s why we’re working with our local reforestation implementation partner and national not-for-profit Greening Australia. They are the ultimate experts on reforestation and have been restoring Australia’s unique landscapes for over 40 years; protecting biodiversity at scale through collaborative, science-based programs to deliver nature-based solutions. Our partnership with Greening Australia will ensure that the trees planted will be maintained and cared for across the next 28 years as they reach maturity.
Together with Greening Australia we will work with people like Tom Brown, a local landholder in the Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland, Victoria; to meet our goal of 10 million trees planted by 2025, and we’ve not wasted any time in getting started! In 2022, almost 200,000 trees were planted in our first phase of planting across 100 hectares in the Strzelecki Ranges; including the Strzelecki Gum, Black Sheoak and Woolly Tea-tree.
Pictured: Greening Australia, Senior Program Officer, Drew Leipa and Landholder Tom Brown
Making progress for the planet
Like anywhere, it is no secret we have some significant climate challenges in Australia. The devastation on flora, fauna, people and communities from extreme weather events has deeply touched all Australians.
Australia is a large continent perfectly suited to large scale tree planting. We were lucky enough to be one of the first countries to kick start Nestlé’s global program. While the opportunity for a reforestation program in Australia is certainly compelling; what was hard to overlook was our team’s sheer enthusiasm and passion to be involved in an ambitious program that will reap benefits for so many, including our unique and wonderful Australian flora and fauna.
It is not every day you get to work on such a significant and impactful initiative; and while we may be just embarking on our journey, I know that every step to protect, renew and restore our planet will be worth it. I am immensely proud to have been involved and look forward to walking amongst these trees in the decades to come.
1 Estimated average based on: Australian Government – Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water; A less fuel-efficient car can emit around 3 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.