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The Positive Cup

The Positive Cup visual

Because coffee can have a positive impact

The Positive Cup reinforces the way the Nespresso model creates shared value. It ensures our activities deliver economic value for the company, preserving the environment for future generations while supporting social progress for all stakeholders. It has led to the “decommodistation” of coffee and provided an opportunity to enhance the Nespresso consumer experience by integrating sustainability into our value proposition.


What really matters

Our materiality assessment has led us to identify how a cup of Nespresso can have a positive impact. Four ambitions have been defined accordingly:

  • Total Company engagement
  • Resilient coffee farms and communities
  • End to End sustainably manged aluminium
  • Integrated actions on climate change

How we are doing

  • We have identified 11 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where our programs can make a contribution
  • Since 2014, we have invested CHF 197 million in deploying our programs and expanding capabilities – for example our team of over 300 agronomists
  • We have set up the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund (NSIF), already supporting projects like climate-smart agriculture in East Africa with the World Bank-BioCarbon Fund
  • We now source 82% of our coffee through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, supporting AAA farms towards compliance with certification standards. We have grown the share of certified coffee volume from zero to 41% in 8 years.
  • We have contributed to the multi stakeholder process which is defining new standards for sustainable aluminium (ASI). We estimate that 56% of our capsules are valorized after use. However, sourcing “ASI certified” aluminium towards 100% will take longer than planned and further substantial progress on capsule valorization depends on the expansion of collective systems
  • We have planted 1.4 million trees in AAA coffee producing regions over the past 2 years. This investment has enabled us to inset 100% of our company’s operational carbon footprint. Given the capabilities required in the field and the time needed for appropriate community engagement, we have reset our goal, which is now towards 5 million trees by 2020

What’s next

Based on the learning and experiences gained over recent years, we have identified a number of key priorities:

  • Further expand the collective collection systems to improve the valorization and recycling rates of capsules after use – consistent with initiatives like the EU Circular Economy package
  • Continue to integrate community and landscape level actions into the AAA Program, such as expanding our agroforestry initiatives
  • Build on the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund to design and accelerate co-financing solutions for proven business models such as community milling
  • Set science-based targets for carbon reduction and improve our monitoring and evaluation systems in the context of COP21 and SDG 13
  • Continue the programs which engage employees and consumers in our sustainability initiatives such as promoting recycling, sharing the benefits of sustainable quality coffees and offering specific revival coffees from regions such as Cuba and Caquetà in Colombia