Nestlé addresses water urbanisation at World Water Week

Aug 22, 2011
Boy drinking water SOLUTIONS FOR THE FUTURE: Young boy drinks from a water fountain in Sri Lanka funded by Nestlé.

Nestlé demonstrates its leadership and commitment to tackling global water issues at World Water Week 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestlé Chairman, and José Lopez, Executive Vice President for Nestlé, heading Operations and GLOBE, will participate in the seven-day event which aims to address the topics of rapid urbanisation, competition for water, and global and governmental challenges.

Hosted and organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Water Week – which takes place during August 21-27 – acts as the annual focal point for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues since 1991. 

Aiming to provide a unique forum for experts, practitioners, decision-makers and leaders from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions, the theme for this year is Water in an Urbanising World.

Nestlé at World Water Week

Crediting Nestlé’s leadership, performance, and efforts to improve the water management in its supply chain, the Stockholm Industry Water Award will be presented to Mr Brabeck-Letmathe at a ceremony on Wednesday, August 24.

The prestigious honour – originally announced by the SIWI in June – recognises the Company’s efforts to improve water efficiency of its own operations, while also commending Nestlé’s work with suppliers, particularly farmers.

World Water Week

On the same day, Nestlé will also participate in the ‘Founders Business Seminar 2011 on Water, Energy and Food Security in the Urban Context – The Role of Business’, in which Mr Brabeck-Letmathe will provide a presentation on water and food security from a business perspective.

A panel discussion will follow to examine how water, energy and food are linked and will impact the way business and cities operate.

Panellists include Jeremy Bentham, Vice President, of the Global Business Environment for Shell; Olaf Jansen, European Hub Manager of the Water Technology Business for Siemens; Ed Piñero, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Veolia Water North America; and Gerd Löbbert, Executive Vice President for Polyolefins, Borealis.

Mark Smith, Director, of the Global Water Programme for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and Ms Usha Rao-Monari, Global Head of Water for the Infrastructure and Natural Resources Department, at the International Finance Corporation, will also take part in the discussion.

In addition, Mr Lopez will address the subject of how the transition to clean and green growth is closely tied to opportunities to develop renewable forms of energy for expanding cities, populations and wealth worldwide, during the ‘Focus:  Water in a Green Economy’ seminar on Thursday, August 25.

Later that day, the Company will take part in the ‘Business and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation’ seminar, exploring how companies can ensure their operations are in line with the issue of the human right to water and sanitation.

Nestlé – along with other government and industry representatives – will share how the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) Report relates to its own work and business practices in relation to such urgent issues.

Water treament in Thailand ZERO WATER DISCHARGE: Khun Taleungkiet at the Chachoengsao coffee factory in Thailand, testing the quality of water that has been treated for re-use.

Water at Nestlé

In illustrating Nestlé’s commitment and leadership to improve water management in its supply chain, since 2000, the Company has reduced its overall water withdrawals by over a third.  This represents a decrease of its water usage from more than five litres of water per USD of sales a decade ago, to less than 1.4 litres today.

Moreover, Nestlé aims to reduce its water consumption on a comparable basis by a further 10-15% over the next five years.

Already in action, 70% of Nestlé’s rural factories in developing countries have a Nestlé-built water treatment plant.

And in continuing its drive to increase clean water in communities, Nestlé has led 184 clean drinking water projects in village schools near its factories in South East Asia, benefiting over 100,000 people.

The Company has also scaled up its involvement with external bodies to illustrate its on-going leadership on water awareness.

Nestlé is a founding signatory of the United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate in which the 76 companies work with environment organisations and other stakeholders on Water Disclosure, Public Policy Engagement, and the Human Right to Water.

The Company’s focus on water is also recognised in its work with the 2030 Water Resources Group (WEF-WRG).  Chaired by Mr Brabeck-Lethmathe, Nestlé plays a significant role in the alliance to address the water issue with a broad-based approach.

Under this methodology, the WEF-WRG offers governments a set of analytical and practical tools to overcome shortfalls and to re-allocate water in case of new demand.  The main element of the toolbox is the water cost curve – a fact-based, comprehensive combination of demand side and supply side levers to bring overall water withdrawals in individual watersheds back into line with natural renewal.

Furthermore, since 2006, Nestlé signed a partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  The partnership, renewed last year, will focus on water and sanitation for around 65,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire until 2013.

In addition, the Company has partnered with Swiss Development Agency (SDC) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to assess the water impact of coffee production.

Nestlé is also a member of the Water Footprint Network and participates in a Water Footprint Consortium of Swiss companies in Colombia, initiated by the SDC.

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World Water Week

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