IUCN and Nespresso have worked together since 2010. They signed a new three-year agreement in May 2015, which will run through 2017.
The main outcomes of the various engagements have been:
- The formation of a cross sectoral, value chain based coalition of companies and civil society organisations to establish a performance standard for the responsible production and use of aluminium, called the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (now managed by a separate entity).
- Ecosystem Service Reviews conducted in 2 coffee clusters (located in Nicaragua and Brazil)
- Creation of a Collaborative Platform for advancing sustainable landscapes in the Cerrado biome of Brazil (coffee growing region of Minas Gerais State)
- Review of carbon offset options
The current IUCN–Nespresso Agreement (2015-2017)
Under the current three-year agreement, the following work areas have been the main focus to date:
- Advancing collaborative platforms to improve land-use management for better ecosystem service delivery in coffee landscapes strategic for Nespresso and IUCN (including systematically identifying the next strategic region to focus on besides the Cerrado biome of Brazil).
- Defining the framework for biodiversity impact evaluation as part of Nespresso’s Monitoring and Evaluation taskforce.
- Piloting a Net Positive Impact (NPI) for biodiversity approach in a coffee landscape (likely region - Brazil).
- Contribute to the development and implementation of a natural capital accounting system for Nespresso (through inclusion of the company in the Natural Capital Coalition’s business engagement process).
The previous IUCN–Nespresso Agreement (2010-2014)
Between 2010 and 2014, IUCN and Nespresso undertook a five-year programme of work to promote sustainability in the aluminium value chain.
The main objectives of the partnership were:
- creating a market differentiation for sustainability performance throughout the aluminium value chain;
- measuring and strengthening the ecological outcomes of the Nespresso Ecolaboration commitments; and
- exploring new business models which are designed to minimize Nespresso’s footprint on the environment.
To implement these objectives, IUCN and Nespresso developed the following seven work areas:
Responsible Aluminium or the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (2010-2014): The work area focusing on responsible aluminium has led to the formation of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative and the (on-going) development of the ASI performance Standard and Chain of Custody. Key message for Nespresso: Confirm their support to a third party certification system, which will be the only credible way to make any claim on the sourced aluminium.
Recycling (2010-2012): IUCN put a lot of efforts in introducing Nespresso to IUCN’s European members with technical and policy expertise in waste recycling. Thanks to IUCN introductions, in Spain, Nespresso has partnered by AccióNatura and in Belgium (with a European and national scope) with European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD). Nespresso has also presented their strategy during the IUCN European Regional Conservation Forum, in September 2011.This work area was abandoned at the end of 2012. The results have been very poor firstly due to lack of this type of expertise among IUCN’s membership, and secondly due to the lack of quality control that HQ could impose once the partnerships were established.
Carbon Neutral Strategy (2011-2012): IUCN supported the development of Nespresso’s thinking on the topic of carbon neutrality and offset. In particular, with the support of the Economic programme, IUCN developed an initial paper laying down the main challenges and opportunities of carbon offsetting though forest restoration. The first paper also provided an initial calculation of the costs for Nespresso. A second paper offered an overview of existing projects that would fit the requirements of Nespresso. The two papers were presented in early 2012 but Nespresso decided not to pursue the route of full carbon neutrality.
Net Positive Impact beyond extractives (2013-2014): Nespresso participated in a 2 day workshop (held at IUCN HQ, end of 2013) as one of four companies (others being UPM forestry, Shell biofuels, and Novozymes biotechnology) interested in better understanding the potential application of NPI approaches for biodiversity in their operations and supply chains.
Ecosystem Service Review (Nicaragua and Brazil) (2012-2014): Nespresso has been working with IUCN since 2012 to analyse the ecosystem services that its coffee supply chains depend and impact upon. In 2012, an initial test of this approach was run in a coffee cluster in Nicaragua. Based on the results, Nespresso agreed to explore its implementation in the Cerrado (Brazil), one of the most commercially critical coffee clusters. The first year led to the production of a number of situation analysis and stakeholder identification. In 2014, IUCN led the development of a multi-stakeholder platform in the Cerrado to address shared challenges such as the implementation of the forest code and water management (two workshops were held in 2014: one to start the platform with founding members (September), and a second one was focussed on capacity-building with coffee farmers for strategic compliance with Brazil’s updated Forest Code (December). This work was coordinated jointly by IUCN BBP and IUCN Brazil and implemented with the support of IUCN’s member, IPE.
Towards the end of 2014 and in the first half of 2015, IUCN Brazil has attempted to raise funds from other voluntary members of the platform and attract new members (e.g. Nestle Brazil, BASF, UTZ Certified). While new members confirmed interest in the initiative, all members have expressed difficulty with financial commitments given the poor economic conditions in Brazil currently. IUCN will have to adapt the model of the collaborative platform by using in-kind resources from members and a small amount of funding from Nespresso in order to maintain the momentum of the platform generated in 2014.
By the end of 2015, a collaborative platform, called Cerrado das Águas (‘Waters of the Cerrado’) Consortium has been formally launched, and the Consortium has agreed to take action for positive conservation and socio‐economic impacts at a landscape level. In 2016, an action plan has been designed and will begin implementation by end 2016 early 2017. These are two major outcomes of the collaboration between IUCN and Nespresso in Brazil, which began by analysing ecosystem services in coffee landscapes in Minas Gerais State in early 2013. On 15 December 2015, the city of Patrocínio in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, hosted the opening event of the Consortium Cerrado das Águas, a collaborative platform focused on advancing sustainable landscapes for environmental and socioeconomic benefits.
The Consortium’s vision statement reads: “The water of today is an outcome of the landscapes we build.”
6. Systematic process for biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment: IUCN applied the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool for Business (IBAT: https://www.ibatforbusiness.org/) to design a methodology for Nespresso to assess biodiversity risks and opportunities in all coffee sourcing regions, based on a pilot in Colombia. A key finding of the pilot is that some coffee farms are present in or near Key Biodiversity Areas (sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity) which present opportunities for risk mitigation and positive conservation impact for globally important biodiversity values.
7. Natural capital accounting: Nespresso has contributed to a country level case study exploring the enabling conditions required for using the Natural Capital Protocol in value chains, including the link between government, finance, business and civil society in integrating natural capital in its decisions. Nespresso joined Colombian-based firms, academia, and government along with representatives from the Natural Capital Coalition, IFC, the World Bank WAVES , IUCN, EY, Trucost, CISL, Ecoversa and SECO to identify natural capital issues in the coffee sector and how this impacts multinational value chains. Discussions focused on country-specific challenges and opportunities and ways to build a platform for fostering a positive enabling environment driving to environmental and social sustainability.