Waste management poses a significant challenge for every nation, unless we shift our perspective and view it as a potential opportunity. Nestlé UK & Ireland, in collaboration with Cargill, has achieved a remarkable feat by repurposing cocoa shells, a byproduct of confectionery production (e.g., KitKat and Aero), into a low-carbon fertilizer.
Research from the University of Cambridge, detailed in their study that carbon emissions from fertilisers could be reduced by as much as 80% by 2050. This study reveals that a substantial portion of fertilizer-related emissions, amounting to one-third, originates from the production process. Fertilizer production alone contributes 5% to total greenhouse gas emissions. The objective is to manufacture 7,000 tons of low-carbon fertilizers, which will be supplied to UK farmers producing wheat for Nestlé.
This initiative exemplifies a comprehensive emissions reduction strategy throughout the supply chain. It not only minimises waste but also creates a more sustainable product—namely, the fertilizer. It's important to note that this program is currently in the trial phase, and its impact on wheat yield performance when using this fertilizer will be assessed.
The question we must ask ourselves is: What untapped opportunities exist within our supply chain that could ultimately reduce our carbon footprint?