The UAE’s largest ground-mounted private solar plant was launched at Nestlé Middle East’s Al Maha factory in Dubai.

The plant entails installing nearly 28,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels at the company’s three manufacturing sites, that will generate 10GWh of electricity per year – eliminating at least six million kilograms of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent of annual emissions from 1,500 passenger cars or the energy consumption of 800 homes. The largest site at Al Maha will alone house 20,000 PV panels, generating 7.2GWh of electricity and eliminating 4.5 million kilograms of CO2 per year.

The solar plant is part of DEWA’s Shams initiative which encourages building owners to install PV panels and connect them to DEWA’s grid. Shams Dubai has achieved remarkable success since its launch in 2014, with 1348 solar systems connected to the electricity grid so far, with a total capacity of 117MW.

The solar plant in Dubai is an important contribution to Nestlé’s global ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

One third of Nestlé’s 413 factories in the world are already using 100% renewable electricity, and the company will continue to increase the use of energy from renewable sources. Nestlé Middle East has since 2010 achieved a 42% reduction in water withdrawal per ton of product, a 34% decrease in energy consumption, and 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product, while its production went up by 68%. The company produces with zero waste for disposal at its food manufacturing sites in the region.

In addition, research and multi-sectoral partnerships are being developed to achieve the goal announced by Nestlé in 2018 to make 100% of the company’s packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025, with the objective that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter. Recent examples include the creation of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Science in Lausanne (Switzerland) to evaluate and develop new sustainable packaging material and solutions in collaboration with academia, suppliers, startups, and others.

The company has already defined category and product specific manufacturing roadmaps to ensure only recyclable or reusable packaging is used by 2025. Nestlé is also playing an active role in developing plastics collection, sorting and recycling schemes across the world, through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) actions that are contributing to industry coalitions that aim to create circular economies within countries, recycling and reusing in a manner that creates shared value for all involved. In the Middle East, Nestlé is partner of EPR Coalitions in Abu Dhabi and Jordan.