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Clearing Up Climate Jargon

A four-minute explainer to decode climate action 
Simplifying Climate Action

A version of this story was originally published by Owen Bethell, Environmental Impact Lead, Global Public Affairs.

Climate conversations are filled with technical language. Sometimes that language is necessary - tackling climate change is complex - but to make climate action accessible to everyone, we need to reduce barriers to entry.

The words sustainability professionals use every day without a second thought can be confusing to those trying to understand climate talk. We need everyone on board, not just the experts.

Owen Bethell, Environmental Impact Lead on our Global Public Affairs team, worked with the Vox Explainer team to help demystify some of these terms and share examples of the kind of work our Nestlé teams are doing to help fight climate change.

Clearing the air around climate jargon

Net Zero

Reaching net zero emissions around the world is essential for fighting climate change. To get there, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as thoroughly and quickly as possible - and balance any remaining emissions entering the atmosphere with the amount being removed. Carbon can be removed through the growth of forests and other natural processes. Setting science-based targets helps companies and other organizations make progress towards achieving net zero.

Explore our global Net Zero Roadmap and our latest reporting (pdf, 16Mb) to see Nestlé's approach and progress.

Scope 3 Emissions

Companies may emit greenhouse gases directly through their own activities - like manufacturing - and through the way in which their raw materials are produced. These indirect emissions are often referred to as 'scope 3'. For Nestlé, our ingredients begin on farms around the world, so a big focus of our net zero roadmap is addressing our 'scope 3' emissions coming from agriculture and land use. It's critical that climate plans include scope 3, as this is often where we can make the biggest impact.

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that aims to improve soil health - as well as protect water resources and biodiversity. By implementing it, we can capture more carbon and foster healthier, more resilient soil. By 2030, we aim to source half our ingredients through regenerative agriculture, globally.

With such a broad range of products in Nestlé’s portfolio, and farmers in our supply chain growing a variety of crops across different regions of the country, regenerative solutions and practices need to be customized for each crop or farm.

It takes a lot of work to drive progress on emissions across our company, but early results show we're on a positive path.


We've passed the peak of our carbon emissions, meaning we're lowering the emissions we contribute to even as we grow and produce more food.

Learn more about our sustainability efforts in the United States.