Introduction to Nespresso

Founded in 1986 by the Swiss company Nestlé, Nespresso is a brand that manufactures mainly coffee pods, but also coffee machines. Nespresso combines quality, practicality and a diversity of flavors, enabling each user to find the coffee that suits their personal preferences.

The brand also offers innovative accessories and top-of-the-range services, consolidating its position as leader in the premium coffee market.

The company has a sustainable development framework called “The Positive Cup”, which covers its entire value chain, with the aim of reducing its impact on the environment by 2030 and beyond. It is a strategy to ensure that every cup of coffee contributes to a positive impact on the world and helps to create a more sustainable coffee industry.

A Cup Above | Nespresso, Taste the Difference.


Carbon Footprint, High

Nespresso has made progress in reducing its carbon footprint, mainly through efforts to minimize emissions across its operations and supply chain. In fact, Nespresso has reduced its CO2 emissions per cup of coffee by 24% between 2009 and 2020. These efforts include investments in renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies and carbon offsetting initiatives.

However, the goal of zero net emissions by 2050 at the latest remains a challenge that requires ongoing commitment and innovation, even if the brand’s ambition is to accelerate and achieve this goal as early as 2035.

In particular, because 99% of their emissions are due to their scope 3, i.e. at the level of coffee growers in producing countries.

Ecological Impact, Medium

Nespresso has implemented various initiatives to mitigate its ecological impact, such as promoting recycling and incorporating recycled materials into its products and packaging. However, there is potential for Nespresso to explore more sustainable alternatives for its coffee capsules, which currently contribute to environmental waste.

Energy Consumption, High

Nespresso has demonstrated its commitment to reduce energy consumption by adopting energy efficiency practices and investing in renewable energy.

Today, 100% of the electricity used in their factories is covered by certificates of renewable origin and they do not send any waste to landfill.

Nespresso has demonstrated a commitment to reducing energy consumption through the adoption of energy-efficient practices and investments in renewable energy.

Freight Density, High

Nespresso aims to optimize its transportation and shipping processes to minimize freight density and reduce its environmental footprint. This may involve strategies such as consolidating shipments, using more efficient modes of transportation, and reducing packaging waste.

For example, in France, most vehicles used for deliveries have been replaced by electric vehicles, with the installation of charging stations right next to the warehouse. This concerns more than 1,000 orders per day.

Furthermore for coffee deliveries delivered in two hours but without environmental impact. Nespresso has developed deliveries entirely by bicycle.

Recycling Rates, High

Nespresso has implemented recycling programs for its coffee capsules. In fact, the company provides recycling bags in stores or directly in packages if the purchase was made online to encourage customers to return used capsules for recycling or if their city allows it, place them directly in the yellow recycling bin.

In addition, Nespresso is working on a strategic plan to use 80% recycled aluminum, from used cans, for their capsules.

Saving Levels, Medium

Between 2009 and 2019, Nespresso reduced its carbon impact by 23% worldwide.

Specific Product Monitoring, High

Nespresso coffee machines help make everyday life simple and sustainable. Particularly with their low energy consumption since all machines automatically stop after 9 minutes of inactivity. Additionally, Nespresso repairs all their machines while adding 6 months of warranty to the repaired machine. On the other hand, if a machine can no longer be repaired, it is recycled thanks to the Ecosystem eco-organization.

Supply Chain Waste, High

Nespresso has implemented several measures to ensure the sustainability of its value chain. It has set up collection points so that used capsules can be transformed into new capsules or aluminum products such as bicycles or pens.

Coffee grounds are also recycled and used to make trainers. A case in point is the innovative “Moka” trainer, a partnership between Nespresso and Zèta, a start-up specializing in zero-waste fashion.

Sustainability Scorecards, High

Nespresso’s sustainability practices have been rewarded. Nespresso achieved B Corp certification in 2022, congratulating its 30 years of recycling as well as its 20 years of the Nespresso Sustainable Quality™ programme. In addition, World Finance magazine voted Nespresso “Most Sustainable Company in the Coffee Processing Industry 2021.”

Water Management, High

Nespresso has already worked on its water management. In particular, it has partnered with Fundación Natura and Rainforest Alliance to find more cost-effective and efficient wastewater management solutions. These solutions will help farmers comply with the AAA Sustainable Quality™ standard, which includes 21 water-related indicators. To date, this research has resulted in a 63% reduction in wastewater, but the company aims to eliminate all untreated wastewater.



Nespresso achieved a score of 4.5/5 for the criteria analyzed, making it a sustainable coffee pod producer with a detailed roadmap to follow in the years ahead.

Related to other brands

Number of criteria met by each brand:

ESCP Business School Team

Research developed by five curious international ESCP Business School students who have worked together to successfully complete their consulting project. They analysed four brands in four different categories -20 brands: sneakers, pod coffee, jeans, makeup, and chocolate, according to 10 environmental criteria.