Over the last three years, Nestlé has been carrying out natural capital valuations, starting with a global level exercise. We wanted to understand the data requirements, the methodological approach and the business insights that such an valuations can provide.
We have subsequently carried out natural capital valuations on individual businesses, most recently in Spain on the value chain of tomato sauce production. Based on previous experiences to improve water efficiency and preserve biodiversity, the goal was to quantify the creation of shared value along the value chain from raw materials to product’s end of life and to provide new insights to guide future work.
We have measured and quantified impact in monetary terms because it enables us to translate our sustainability work into a common business language. We have based the quantification on data available from life-cycle analyses, including GHG emissions, water consumption, land use and a variety of pollution parameters (e.g. air and water).
Our initial valuation exercise and subsequent benchmarking against the Natural Capital Protocol provided us with a methodological approach and insights that we have used in more valuation exercises. As we progress and learn from others, we are continuing to refine the data sources and coefficients that we use.
In our most recent exercise in Spain, the impact valuation methodology helped us understand how the different drivers in the tomato sauce production create positive impact. The findings informed our understanding of critical impacts and helped us prioritize short and medium-term investments, particularly to focus upon other ingredients and packaging.
It remains a challenge to translate this complex data into consumer relevant communication, which until now has focused on local tomato production, lower water consumption for tomato growth and lower usage of fertilizers and pesticides.