On September 21, 2020, Nestlé announced that it will plant three million trees through Project RELeaf in Malaysia. Nestlé will invest CHF 4 million in the next three years.
Nestlé Malaysia will plant three million trees across the Kinabatangan Wetlands and Merisuli Forest Restoration areas in Sabah, as well as in forest reserves along the Central Forest Spine in Peninsular Malaysia.
These forest reserves provide sanctuary for a great diversity of flora and fauna, including threatened wildlife such as orangutans, proboscis monkeys, Asian elephants, Malayan tigers, sun bears and tapirs.
Chris Johnson, Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A., Chief Executive Officer, Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa, said “We are mindful of the urgent need to address climate change, which is a threat to the sustainability of our business as well as for the planet’s future. Project RELeaf will enable us to accelerate our net-zero ambition by scaling up nature-based solutions to tackle this global climate issue. Not only will Project RELeaf enhance biodiversity, but it will subsequently help to absorb carbon emissions. Planting trees in locations where Nestlé sources its ingredients is contributing to the responsible management of our supply chain. Furthermore, reforestation complements our efforts to halt deforestation in our supply chains.”
This announcement is part of Nestlé’s broader reforestation initiative. It will help accelerate the company’s global pledge to address climate change and achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Project RELeaf builds on the pioneering Kinabatangan Rileaf Project, established by Nestlé in 2011, which helped plant one million trees in Sabah.
By widening its reach in Sabah and expanding for the first time to Peninsular Malaysia, Project RELeaf aims to scale up Nestlé’s efforts to restoring riparian and forest in locations where palms are grown, that also contributes in establishing wildlife corridors to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, while reducing negative impact on critical water supplies.
The project will also help develop greater awareness amongst local communities on environmental preservation and will provide additional sources of income to help improve livelihoods.The launch of Project RELeaf was officiated by YB Dato’ Dr. Shamsul Anuar Bin Hj Nasarah, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Mr. Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad. The event took place at Taman Rimba Alam, Precinct 15, Putrajaya.
YB Dato’ Dr. Shamsul Anuar Bin Hj Nasarah commented, “Malaysia has been blessed with abundant natural resources. We are committed to maintain at least 50% of the country’s land area with forest and tree cover in line with our pledge at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992. As our nation develops, we must balance our growth with the conservation of our environment. As such, we are truly appreciative of Nestlé’s committed efforts to protect our nation’s biodiversity. We hope to see more public and private sector collaborations, to continue protecting our precious ecosystem for future generations.”
Nestlé will collaborate with the Malaysian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Sabah Forestry Department, Malaysian Nature Society, the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and the Research Center, Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project, palm growers, as well as local communities and entrepreneurs for community-based seedling production and tree-planting operations.
All photos, including featured photo of proboscis monkey, are courtesy of Nestlé / Project RELeaf.