We work with local partners and NGOs by contributing funding, operational support and training for sustainable, technologically adapted community water management schemes. We also support projects to deliver water, sanitation and hygiene projects in schools and villages near our operations around the world.
Improving water, hygiene and sanitation in Côte d’Ivoire
Since 2007, we’ve worked with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire to provide water and sanitation facilities and hygiene training in Côte d’Ivoire. More than 100,000 people have benefited from improved access to water and sanitation through this work (see Partnerships and Industry Alliances for more details).
The programme was further extended in 2010-11 with a focus on improving health and hygiene among schoolchildren, teachers, and communities. By 2014, the programme will cover 55 schools, 66 water points and sanitation facilities and at least 75,000 beneficiaries in the cocoa-growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire.
The IFRC’s methodology of Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) to raise awareness of the importance of latrines and hand washing, is at the core of the programme. This is accompanied by water management projects such as drilling boreholes and establishing pumps in villages where water is scarce. The outcomes are dramatically lower infant mortality rates and stomach infections from water-borne diseases, but also higher female literacy, a key driver for poverty reduction.
Nestlé Waters contribution to disaster relief
When a natural disaster occurs, water sources and distribution systems are often polluted or damaged, resulting in an immediate need for safe drinking water. Many countries that we operate in, particularly in North America, are engaged in disaster relief, providing communities with a supply of bottled water, financial donations and logistical support, often in partnership with NGOs or local authorities.
In 2012, Nestlé Waters North America donated 750,000 bottles of water to communities whose public supplies were been disrupted by Hurricane Sandy.
As in 2011, we supported the IFRC’s annual World Disasters Report 2012, now in its 20th year. This year's theme was Forced Migration and Displacement. We also contributed CHF 225,000 to the IFRC's Community Preparedness and Risk Reduction Department over three years. The Department’s programme aims to improve food and nutrition security and promote sustainable livelihoods among the world’s most vulnerable people.
Humanitarian relief – Swiss Solidarity Foundation
In December, we participated in a campaign by Swiss Solidarity (Chaîne du Bonheur), a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief projects. The campaign called "every cent counts, every drop helps" aimed at raising funds to provide improved access to clean water for people in developing countries. Nestlé employees in Switzerland contributed to the initiative, and more than CHF 125,000 was handed over to Swiss Solidarity in December 2012. The funds raised will be invested through reliable NGOs committed to bringing access to water to those who need it most.
Project WET and World Water Day
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is an international NGO that uses educational tools to raise awareness of water issues among schoolchildren around the world. Nestlé Waters has been its main sponsor since 1992, helping Project WET establish programmes in more than a dozen countries including China, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and, most recently, Egypt and Nigeria.
Every March, Nestlé Waters marks World Water Day in partnership with Project WET. Children and teachers participate in Together for Water festivals, to increase awareness of the importance of fresh water for nature, healthy hydration, good hygiene and disease prevention. In 2012, more than 15,000 children and 500 Nestlé Waters employees participated in Water Care festivals across 29 countries.
Provision of clean drinking water near factories
About 32% of our rural factories in developing countries provide clean drinking water to local communities. Many dairy communities are located in rural areas with limited access to clean drinking water, and low levels of awareness about water scarcity, conservation and pollution. Improving rural community access to clean drinking water and hygiene is an important impact of our factories.
Water and education programmes in South Asia
In 2011, we launched 217 clean drinking water projects in the South Asian region, benefiting more than 100,000 pupils in village schools. In an effort to encourage more girls to attend village schools, we have constructed 51 sanitation facilities reaching more than 25,000 girls in rural areas.
Furthermore, our Water Awareness programme has been rolled out in India, promoting responsible water use among children in schools near our factories and installing 156 drinking fountains. These now provide 66,000 students with clean drinking water.
In Sri Lanka, we installed clean drinking water facilities in high-footfall locations such as schools, hospitals and places of worship across the island. Through the Nestlé Water Programme, a further 14 water fountains have been built in public places, benefiting more than 17,000 people; and 23 toilet facilities have been built in schools as part of our School Sanitation Project, benefiting 4,700 schoolgirls.
Let’s Plant Water programme in Ecuador
In 2012, Nestlé Ecuador held a reforestation day in Cotopaxi National Park, one of the country’s main water basins. Recognising that trees support the water cycle, 250 Nestlé volunteers planted 5,000 native trees – the largest reforestation activity Nestlé Ecuador has ever undertaken. In 2012, they aim to plant 20,000 native trees.
Nestlé Waters community relations guide book
At Nestlé Waters, the local communities around our plants have always been important partners and our relationship with them is key. Based on previous experience in countries like France and the United States, Nestlé Waters launched a community engagement guidebook in 2012, for our water plants. Pilot projects have since been launched in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, with plans for a global rollout in 2013-2014.