Nestlé creates research institute for packaging to accelerate sustainability agenda
Nestlé has announced it is creating an Institute of Packaging Sciences, which will be dedicated to the discovery and development of functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions for food and beverages, including confectionery. This is a step towards the company’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The company’s CEO Mark Schneider said: “We want to be a leader in developing the most sustainable packaging solutions for our food and beverage products. To achieve this, we are enhancing our research capabilities to develop new packaging materials and solutions. Through this, we hope to address the growing packaging waste problem, in particular plastics. We aim to minimise our impact on the natural environment while safely delivering to our consumers healthier and tastier products.”
The Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, which is part of Nestlé’s global research organisation, will be located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It will employ around 50 people and include a state-of-the-art laboratory complex as well as facilities for rapid prototyping.
In close collaboration with the company’s global R&D network, academic partners, suppliers and start-ups, the institute will evaluate the safety and functionality of various sustainable packaging materials. Research focus areas will include recyclable, biodegradable or compostable polymers, functional paper, as well as new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging. The new solutions will be tested in various product categories, before they are rolled out across Nestlé’s global portfolio.
Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Palzer said: “Packaging plays a crucial role in helping us deliver safe and nutritious products to our consumers. The new Institute of Packaging Sciences will enable us to accelerate the redesign of our packaging solutions. Cutting-edge science as well as a close collaboration with globally leading academic institutions and industrial partners will deliver a pipeline of highly performing environmentally friendly packaging solutions.”
Within the company’s UK division, Dame Fiona Kendrick has decided to stand down as Chairman of Nestlé UK and Ireland at the end of 2018 and will leave the company after four decades.
Dame Fiona joined Nestlé in 1980 and has enjoyed a long and varied career with a number of roles in the UK and overseas. She was also President of the Food and Drink Federation between 2015 and 2016. She has served as UK and Ireland Chairman since 2012 and was CEO of the business between 2012 and 2017.