Water efficiency

Our commitment: Work to achieve water efficiency and sustainability across our operations

Our commitment: Work to achieve water efficiency and sustainability across our operations

Our objectives

We aim to minimise the impact of our operations on natural water resources and the communities they support.

By 2015 – Reduce direct water withdrawals per tonne of product in every product category to achieve an overall reduction of 40% since 2005.

By 2015 – Establish and implement detailed guidelines on human rights to water and sanitation due diligence.

By 2016 – Define water stewardship initiatives and start implementation in five high-priority locations.

By 2016 – Implement water savings projects in 100% of high-priority manufacturing facilities.

By 2016 – Carry out 45 new water resources reviews in selected manufacturing facilities, and all greenfield sites.

Our progress

In line with our Commitment on Water Stewardship (2013), Nestlé actively seeks new opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle water in our operations. We have introduced a global ‘Water Stewardship Master Plan’ at a corporate level, and we have started to develop local master plans in key markets, beginning with Pakistan (2014). These contain documented responsibilities, targets and deadlines that direct our improvements.

Today, our people are carrying out over 376 water-saving projects in Nestlé’s factories, which will save around 1.84 million m3 of water. In 2014, we reduced direct water withdrawals per tonne of product by 6% (37% reduction since 2005).

We have identified and prioritised 31 high-priority manufacturing facilities that are located in areas of severe water stress and/or represent a significant portion of our water withdrawals. By the end of 2014, we have decreased water withdrawals and improved efficiency (against 2013 levels) in 42% of these facilities. We improve local water stewardship efforts by conducting Water Resource Reviews across our factory sites, with 18 new reviews carried out this year. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) considerations are being integrated into the process.

Our perspective

Nestlé welcomes the growing level of stakeholder interest in water issues, recognising that it reflects a greater awareness of the impacts of global water scarcity. We remain convinced that public debate around water use (including our own water use), leads to positive collective action. With 38% of our factories situated in water-stressed regions, responsible water stewardship rightly remains a critical issue for our business and our stakeholders. Water resource reviews help us to assess potential impacts to the Right to Water and Sanitation of local communities where we operate and they propose appropriate corrective actions, when needed. The right to water and sanitation is also systematically included in our corporate Human Rights Impact Assessment. By the end of 2014, 133 factories had undergone a Water Resources Review. We will continue to drive improvements in water efficiency and sustainability across our operations.

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