Water policies and stewardship

Our commitment: Advocate for effective water policies and stewardship

Our commitment: Advocate for effective water policies and stewardship

Our objectives

We aim to promote water policy and management that helps towards sustainable use by industry and others, both globally and locally.

By 2016 – Continue to build the 2030 Water Resources Group Public Private Partnership by adding two more countries per year and further develop and publicise the Global Catalogue on Good Practices.

By 2016 – Support the launch of the CEO Water Mandate Guide on Good Practices for Business on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and pilot test the Guide in our water due diligence in selected markets.

By 2016 – Support the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to achieve 50 signatories of the WASH Pledge.

By 2016 – Initiate the roll-out process of the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (AWS)International Water Stewardship Standard by implementing it in at least five locations.

By 2016 – Work with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI) and the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) to implement the Water Risk Assessment and Mitigation collaboration initiative in at least one sourcing area of agricultural raw materials.

Our progress

Nestlé maintains a strong presence in high-profile initiatives on water policy and stewardship, promoting opportunities to improve best practice. Many of our senior people, including our Chairman, play a leading role in the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG). We currently chair this public-private-civil society collaboration, which seeks to catalyse practical solutions for water resources reform in water-stressed developing economies. The WRG has been invited to work in Peru and Tanzania, and is also exploring other countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya and Lebanon.

In July 2014, we welcomed the publication of the international standard ISO 14046:2014 Environmental management – Water footprint – Principles, Requirements and Guidelines. It marks the culmination of five years of collaboration between more than 90 experts and Nestlé has been an active member of the working group.

We continue to support the CEO Water Mandate Public Disclosure Guidelines, released in September 2014, and champion the WBCSD Pledge in our own operations and beyond, acting as a vocal WASH Ambassador on the international platform.

We have produced internal guidance on the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) to strengthen water stewardship at key Nestlé locations. A wider roll-out is planned for 2015.

Our perspective

We are all facing an urgent challenge to provide safe water for and feed the world’s growing population. It calls for joint efforts and common goals going forward. We believe governments must take a systemic approach to water. They must provide strong leadership, avoid acting in ‘silos’ and ensure accountability towards political commitments. They must also strengthen institutions, particularly for community-based affordable solutions within the water safety/sanitation/poverty nexus, act as regulators (for both public and private water supply structures) and set incentives to ensure cost-effective solutions and good management of water security, water supply, sanitation and treatment. We are willing to help by advocating for effective water policies and water stewardship. Our proactive approach brings us into contact with Public Private Partnerships, industry bodies, NGOs and research institutions to learn and share best practice. The progress delivered through these relationships is communicated transparently via our website.

Water as a human right

In 2010, Nestlé formally reconfirmed its public recognition of the human right to water and sanitation, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

We respect the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right.

Related content


This is an ongoing extension of our 2014 objective.

Our 2014 objective to contribute to the Guidelines was achieved.

Our 2014 objective to contribute to the ISO 14046: Water Footprint – Principles, Requirements and Guidelines was achieved.

Our 2014 objective to use the principles of the AWS Standard as a self-assessment guide at selected high-priority locations was achieved.