Nestlé helps to develop water and sanitation pledge for business

Sep 4, 2013
Person washing their hands.
TAKING ACTION: Businesses pledge to provide access to sanitation to employees in all their direct operations.

Nestlé is one of the first signatories of a new pledge drawn up by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) that commits businesses to upholding the human right to water and sanitation within their operations.

The pledge for ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Implementation at the Workplace’ (WASH) challenges companies to provide access to safe water and sanitation, and appropriate facilities to ensure personal hygiene, to employees in all premises in their direct control, within three years of signing.

Leadership example

In the longer-term, companies will be encouraged to set a leadership example to other businesses and stakeholders, by moving from implementing these actions in their own premises to advocating for the same commitment across their value chains, including in employee homes, local communities and among their suppliers.

Nestlé will join representatives from the WBCSD, the United Nations and the plastics company Borealis to present the WASH pledge today at this year’s World Water Week
event in Stockholm.

Nestlé has started to pilot and test within its operations a new self-assessment tool that businesses signing the pledge can use to analyse the facilities they currently provide and make improvements where necessary.

“By signing the WASH pledge, we are reaffirming this commitment and our recognition of our responsibilities as manufacturer and employer”.

Carlo Galli,Technical and Strategic Advisor for Water Resources, Nestlé.

Reiterating promise

"We already commit to providing access to clean water to our employees at all of our direct operations, including our 468 factories worldwide, as part of our existing commitment on water stewardship", said Carlo Galli,Technical and Strategic Advisor for Water Resources, Nestlé.

“We hope that together with the other companies that have already signed up, we can encourage more businesses to do the same.”

Monitor progress

The companies that have signed the WASH pledge alongside Nestlé and Borealis are: Deloitte LLP, EDF, Greif, Hindustan Construction Company, Roche Group, and Unilever.

Read the pledge

The WBCSD will document the companies’ progress and, where possible, will offer support to help them honour the commitment.

“Today, millions of people are still without access to safe drinking water and billions lack access to adequate sanitation,” said Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD.

“There is a compelling and clear economic case for businesses to demonstrate leadership in addressing this social imperative and one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges of our times.

“The WASH pledge is a direct and tangible contribution they can make to this.”

Related information:
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
World Business Council for Sustainable Development blog
Nestlé Commitment on Water Stewardship (pdf, 198Kb)

Read more stories about Nestlé and water:
Nestlé factory reduces water use by almost two thirds in less than 12 months
Nestlé celebrates World Water Day
Nestlé goes on the road to promote water conservation in the US