Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has stressed the need for pragmatic, efficient and cost effective action to address global water scarcity at the World Water Forum.
He was speaking as Nestlé launched a report highlighting its efforts to tackle the issue.
Nestlé is Creating Shared Value Report 2011 also illustrates Nestlé is work on nutrition, rural development, environmental sustainability and compliance.
Mr Brabeck-Letmathe told the Forum in Marseille, France, the key to reducing global water consumption was local action.
Water issues cannot be solved by structures abroad, he said. Initiative has to be taken at local level by addressing specific issues on individual river basins.
It has to be government driven and supported by a broad local public-private partnership.
Mr Brabeck-Letmathe stressed that a global public-private initiative 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) can also help by providing tools and information on best practice.
Formed in 2008 following the United Nations call for businesses and governments to address the issue of water security, it provides guidance and new policy ideas on water resource scarcity.
Mr Brabeck-Letmathe, who is Chairman of the WRG, appealed for support for the initiative from the 3,200 attendees at the opening session.
The French Prime Minister FranÁois Fillon joined other politicians, royal guests and CEOs of major companies at the Forum.
JosÈ Lopez, Nestlé's Executive Vice President and Head of Operations and GLOBE, is also taking part in the week-long event.
Reducing water consumption
The new report is Nestlé's eighth annual publication on Creating Shared Value and will be available in full online on Wednesday, March 14.
This is Nestlé's approach to business that aims to create value for its shareholders at the same time as for those communities where it operates, building on strong foundations of compliance and sustainable business practices.
The report shows that the company has reduced water consumption in its factories by nearly a third since 2001, while its food and beverage production volume has increased by 73%.
Nestlé has provided access to water to over 60,000 people by investing CHF 2.25 million in water and sanitation, food security and emergency relief initiatives in Côte d'Ivoire.
This is through a renewed three year partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross Society.
Nestlé will also publish its Annual Report on March 14.
World Water Forum
More than 25,000 participants and 800 speakers will take part in this year's Forum which highlights the theme Time for Solutions.
CSV Report images on Flickr
World Water Forum website
Creating Shared Value
Read more about NestlÈís efforts on water:
Nestlé highlights global water shortfall at World Economic Forum
2030 Water Resources Group
Nestlé Chairman addresses water security at the World Economic Forum
Nestlé Chairman focuses on global water and food security at Harvard