Our commitment: Raise awareness on water conservation and improve access to water and sanitation across our value chain
By 2015 – Every Nestlé employee has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene of an appropriate standard at the workplace.
By 2016 – 350 000 beneficiaries in local communities will have access to water, sanitation or hygiene projects around our manufacturing facilities and in Farmer Connect areas.
We continue to work with expert partners, including the WBCSD and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to improve access to water and sanitation, and in 2014:
- we tested the WBCSD self-assessment WASH tool at key manufacturing sites, and
- almost 400 000 people (2013: over 300 000) had access to water, sanitation or hygiene around our manufacturing facilities and in Farmer Connect areas meaning we reached our 2016 target early.
Through education initiatives, we are helping our employees, suppliers and consumers to improve their understanding of the importance of water conservation and stewardship. In addition to supplier activities (See Engage with suppliers,especially those in agriculture), during 2014 we have:
- delivered a new training programme to our Corporate HR Team (117 people), and made course content available to all employees via the company intranet;
- continued our sponsorship of the global water education programme, ‘Project WET’, which expanded its reach in Nigeria to the Osun State; and
- marked World Water Day with around 650 employees helping to organise factory events for more than 22 000 children in 32 countries.
The WHO estimates that every person needs 50 to 100 litres of fresh water per day to meet their basic daily needs. But, today, as estimated by the WBCSD, more than 1.8 billion people depend on unsafe drinking water, and an estimated 4 billion lack access to basic sanitation.
We agree that lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene can cause illness or death, impair productivity, and restrict markets for some products and services. We believe there is a clear and compelling economic case for businesses to demonstrate leadership by addressing this situation. That is why, last year, Nestlé became one of the first signatories of the WBCSD WASH Pledge, committing to providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at all of our direct workplace premises within three years. By signing the pledge, we restated our own commitment and are encouraging others along the value chain to do the same. If all WBCSD member companies signed the WASH Pledge it would represent 15 million employees.