– Nestlé’s CFO believes that the company is on the right track
Nestlé CFO François-Xavier Roger is convinced that CO2 emissions in 2025 will be 20% lower than in the base year 2018, as planned.
François-Xavier Roger, Nestlé’s chief financial officer, who will hold his position for a short period, believes that the world’s largest food company is on the right track to achieve its sustainability goals. “We are very confident that we will achieve most of the goals,” he said Thursday at an event organized by brokerage Bernstein.
He was particularly convinced of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: he said that in 2025, as planned, carbon dioxide emissions should be 20% lower than in the base year 2018.
In addition, according to Roger, sustainability goals are more relevant than originally assumed. He actually forecasts annual spending of around CHF 1 billion for the years 2021 to 2025 to create ESG and sustainability goals. “Overall, we will spend slightly less than the planned amount of 5 billion Swiss francs.” He said now. The reason for this is that Nestlé has become more efficient.
Consumption continues despite inflation
Even though people have less money in their wallets due to higher prices, they still diligently buy Nestlé products. “In the United States we see great flexibility, which surprised us,” he said.
However, government support services are now increasingly being withdrawn following the pandemic. “This has little impact on consumption.” However, only in certain markets such as the frozen food business, in which Nestlé is not particularly exposed anyway.
Roger was particularly surprised by the consumer mood in developing countries. It is hard to believe that there has been practically no decline in buying interest. “And we can’t complain about China either; sales volumes there did eventually pick up in the first half of the year.”
He also reiterated the possibility that sales volume growth at Nestlé will be positive again in the second half of the year.
It’s not clear when Roger will leave
Bernstein’s so-called “fireside chat” on Thursday was perhaps one of Roger’s last public appearances as Nestlé’s CFO. Because, as it became known in the spring, he is relinquishing his position.
However, it is still not entirely clear when his successor – Anna Manz, who will join Nestlé from the London Stock Exchange – will take up her post. When the staffing was announced, it was said that she would change once she was relieved of her current duties.
And it seems like Roger is in no hurry to move away from Nestlé either. “I want to make sure she gets off to a successful start,” he said. He will introduce you to your office and clear up any questions you may have.
He has remained mum about his own plans for the future. The coach, born in 1962, said: “But I will not retire yet.” Rogers is already familiar with a new assignment: he will chair the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of the Board of Directors at Novartis subsidiary Sandoz. As is known, Sandoz will be separated from its parent company in October and listed on the stock exchange.