Caring for water
At Nestlé, we act on climate change by further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along our value chain, in line with science-based targets. Reducing waste is a priority: we reuse and recycle wherever possible. We strengthen our supply chain by helping the farmers we work with to adopt sustainable practices. Water, identified as a CSV focus area, is also at the heart of our actions and we continue to reduce withdrawals of water per tonne of product and help increase access to safe water and sanitation.
Indeed, water is one of the areas next to nutrition and rural development, with greatest intersection between Nestlé’s business and society.
At Nestlé, we care for water and focus our efforts and resources in four key areas where it matters:
- In our factories, continuously improving water use efficiency;
- In watersheds, working with partners to protect shared water resources;
- Across our agricultural supply chain, where water challenges are putting the sourcing of our raw materials at risk; and
- In the communities where we are present, to widen access to clean water and sanitation.
We continue to invest in our factories to comply with local regulation and where it is imperative to decrease our water dependency. But to achieve sustainable water resources management, we also seek collaborative efforts outside our factory gates. This method has demonstrated a greater return on investment, for the resilience of our business and for the benefit of local stakeholders living in the catchments where we operate.
Our approach involves a three-step roadmap: compliance, excellence in water resources management and collective action (see below).
Water Stewardship LadderOur approach is based on the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), a multi-stakeholder platform of which we are a founding member and contributor. The AWS Standard, the leading global standard for good water stewardship performance certification, ensures water use is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. It promotes best practice in water stewardship, guides us in assessing risks and needs, and helps us focus our efforts where it matters most.
We have already achieved a great deal but we are ready to do even more across all our operations. Nestlé Waters has committed to certifying 20 factories to the AWS Standard by 2020, with four factories already certified: one in Pakistan and three in California. In the Americas, water stewardship assessments have begun in all of our factories. And in Europe, Africa and Asia, water stewardship lighthouse projects are reference points for further action in markets faced by water challenges.
Our commitment to the AWS and our teamwork are important catalysts to securing more sustainable access to water, replicating water efficiency innovations and engaging other water users in collective action to sustainably manage our shared water resources.
If we are to continue to grow sustainably, we must ensure we use the planet’s resources wisely. We want our products to not only be tastier and healthier but also better for the environment. Our 2030 ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations.