Nestlé is ramping up its sustainability drive in its UK and Ireland business with a pledge to slash CO2 emissions and reduce waste.

The food giant made the pledges in its 'Creating Shared Value' report, published this week to provide an update on existing ­sustainability targets and to announce a swathe of new commitments.

The food giant said it was targeting a 20% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions and a 10% increase in renewable energy usage on 2006 levels by 2015 in the UK and Ireland.

The company cut energy by 11% between 2006 and 2009 and now its cereal business, Cereal Partners UK, would invest £15.5m to save 180,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 7,200 cars off the road.

Nestlé reduced waste to landfill by 57% between 2006 and 2009, but it has now pledged to send zero total waste to landfill at all of its factories by 2015. Its chocolate crumb factory in Girvan, Scotland, had ­already achieved this.

The company also said it would increase the amount of recyclable material used in packaging by 5% to 95%. It would also tackle water consumption. By the end of 2009, it had cut water usage per tonne of product by 27%, but it was now aiming for a 30% reduction on 2006 levels by 2020.

"The public is sometimes baffled by the greenwash that some companies put out there," said Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO Paul Grimwood.

"In the UK we have achieved or over-achieved our current targets. This initiative sets out new, ambitious targets and people will be able to see how we're progressing."

The report follows a major global investment by Nestlé in its coffee projects.

As part of its Nescafé Plan, unveiled last week, Nestlé will distribute 220 million high yield disease-resistant coffee plantlets to farmers by 2020, expand technical assistance programmes and over the next five years purchase 180,000 tonnes of coffee directly from 170,000 farmers every year.

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