Nestlé says aims to plant 3.5 million trees in PH starting in Mindanao

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2021 06:19 PM

MANILA – Nestlé said Thursday it aims to plant 3.5 million native tree species and bamboo in the country, starting with Mindanao, as part of the global food and drink giant's reforestation commitment.

The local initiative is called "Para Sa Susunod na Henerasyon Project: Nestlé’s Reforestation" and is in partnership with One Tree Planted and EcoPlanet Bamboo. 

"Bamboo is very efficient in absorbing CO2 emissions and that's going to be really playing a key role also for us in reducing our carbon footprint and eventually achieving that net-zero in 2050," said Kais Marzouki, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Philippines. 

Emily Kunen, global climate delivery leader for forests at Nestlé, said they're starting the preparatory works for the project right away ahead of the planting phase in August 2022.

She added the Philippine initiative is among the first projects under its global reforestation commitment.

"As part of that, we committed to planting 200 million trees by 2030. So this initiative today is part of our commitment, it's one of our earliest projects that we're launching," Kunen explained. 

Alaistar Jones, One Tree Planted major projects manager for Asia Pacific said, the public can also help improve reforestation efforts by supporting indigenous peoples, making more sustainable choices in buying products, and encouraging governments to intervene.

"Work with governments and others to increase existing forests that are under protected areas. This doesn't mean we should be excluding communities from those protected areas. We can have protected areas that are indigenous-owned and operated as well," Jones noted.

Aside from reforestation initiatives, Marzouki also shared that they're working on producing plastic alternatives for their packaging like paper-based products.

"Unfortunately plastic packaging is very effective especially for food-grade products because it's the most affordable barrier to contamination for our products," he said. 

Despite this Marzouki assured the consumers that they're set to test the alternative packaging in select markets across the globe including the Philippines, making sure these would not increase their carbon footprint while being recyclable and/or biodegradable.