Nestlé strives for water sustainability

Food and beverage giant Nestlé is continuing its drive to be more sustainable, with new water management plans.

Building on their 2017 commitment to have all of their sites certified by the Alliance for Water Stewardship, this latest initiative should see Nestlé Waters reduce water usage in its operations, so that by 2025 more water is left to nature than used by the corporation at its plants.

“Today, we are accelerating our journey to support the regeneration of local water cycles and are challenging ourselves to take bold new steps,” said Muriel Lienau, Head of the Waters Business.

“We want to play an active role in helping to conserve water resources everywhere we operate. To do so, we will work with many partners to develop tailored projects that help find local solutions.”

The corporation is investing $130 million into over 100 projects, spread across 48 sites.

Each project will be tailored to the needs of the locality, with an overarching mission of regenerating eco-systems across the world.

In the UK, options being considered for a key Nestlé site at Buxton include leaky dams, blocking small drainage gullies and targeted tree planting around Light Wood and other parts of the upper catchment area.

Water storage areas, like ponds, are another possibility, with the added benefits of growing biodiversity in the moorland areas and increasing carbon capture.

By contrast, hard management strategies are being used in the rural village of Kafr Arbeen, Egypt, cleaning and concreting the channel of the local canal and supporting the regeneration of the local Gamgara water station, to supply neighbouring residents with access to clean water.

“We know the water challenge is global, but it can only be tackled through local solutions,” said Cédric Egger, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé Waters.

“Now is the time to expand the scope of our actions. With Nestlé’s presence around the world, we can learn from our many partners and contribute to solving the water challenges in the locations near our operations.”

By managing the water sustainably and improving infrastructure, these projects will facilitate the regeneration of local water cycles.

Working alongside locals, communities, partners and global experts, Nestlé’s work will be measurable via the World Resources Institute’s Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting methodology, with full transparency regarding its water usage at each site and the contributions of the initiatives.