NESTLÉ Philippines, Inc. has pledged to plant a total of 3.5 million native trees and bamboos over the next three years in Mindanao, where the firm sources its coffee beans for its Nescafé brand.

In a virtual briefing on Thursday, Nestlé Philippines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kais Marzouki said that new initiative aims to plant 2.5 million bamboo clumps and one million native trees in the region.

“This reforestation effort supports Nestle’s global goal to plant 200 million trees by 2030, and it also forms part of the company’s plan to scale up actions in regenerative agriculture and deploy nature-based solutions to absorb greenhouse gases and therefore to help contribute to achieve our net zero targets by 2050,” he said.

The local unit of the global food and beverage company has teamed up with nonprofit One Tree Planted and private firm EcoPlanet Bamboo to implement the project, which aims to address deforestation in the Philippines.

Mr. Marzouki said the firm is targeting Mindanao because that is where it sources coffee beans for the Nestlé coffee brand.

“Nestlé’s reforestation initiative is also a pillar of the company’s ‘Forest Positive Strategy’ which looks beyond stopping deforestation to protecting and restoring forest over the long term. It aims to make a real positive impact on the critical agriculture areas where Nestlé sources its ingredients, and in this case, coffee,” he added.

Nestlé Global Climate Delivery Leader for Forests Emily Kunen said the first phase of planting activities will begin by August 2022.

Aside from native tree species, the initiative will also use tropical clumping bamboos or tree-like plants that are sturdy and can thrive on degraded soils, according to EcoPlanet Bamboo Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Camille Rebelo.

Nestlé Philippines’ announcement comes months after the firm promised to lessen virgin plastics consumption by a third and reduce 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions in local operations. This is in line with its goal of achieving net zero emissions not later than 2050. — Angelica Y. Yang