Water is fundamental to our operations and is a vital resource for everyone. We put water preservation at the heart of our efforts to build a more efficient business.
Over many years, we have implemented programs to continuously improve water efficiency at our factories, and have consistently reduced water withdrawals, even as production volumes increase.
Our approach to water stewardship must be local – or context-based. Nestlé uses various sets of publicly available data from four independent sources to evaluate the water stress at our factory locations. Each Nestlé site receives a score, allowing us to identify a list of Where It Matters (WIM) locations to prioritize actions.
Our context-based approach involves a three-step roadmap from local to wider catchment level: compliance as a minimum, then excellence in water resources management, and collective action.
Nestlé performs regular assessments of local water resources and water use inside and outside its factories, including possible future risks. We engage with stakeholders and monitor external research findings.
How we manage water stewardship in our operations
We monitor water withdrawals at 100% of our factories using flow meters and monitor water quality using sensors and probes, including all water discharged to third parties or back into surface water bodies. We promote the recycling and reuse of water where possible.
Before the water we use in our operations is reused or discharged back into rivers, lakes and the sea, we ensure it is safety treated. Our digital compliance assessment and monitoring tool ensures our factories meet the exacting standards of our Nestlé Environmental Requirements (NER) for water quality.
Helping to protect, renew and restore water sources at our sites
Water has always been a priority for us. We are focused on reducing our water withdrawals, particularly in factories located in regions of high baseline water stress.
Safeguarding water with real-time insights
We always aim to use water in the most efficient ways possible. That is why, in 2019, we began installing Aquassay technology in our factories to monitor water from source through to discharge. The technology helps factory managers highlight areas for improvement in real time.
Collaborating with Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) for high water efficiency standards
The AWS Standard is the first global water stewardship standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. AWS provides a globally applicable framework that allows major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently towards sustainable water management. The AWS Standard helps sites acquire best practices to address the shared water challenges of a watershed and ensure responsible water stewardship actions for all stakeholders.
The AWS certification process enables broader, improved collaboration among local stakeholders. It promotes responsible water use that benefits local communities socially and economically, while supporting the environmental sustainability of watersheds. It leads to a stronger understanding of local water challenges and more meaningful collective actions to address them – all vital to sustainable water resource management.
We aim to certify all our Nestlé Waters sites to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) by 2025.