It’s Our Job to Save Water: Here’s How We Do It
‘Good Food, Good Life’ is the promise we make to billions of consumers around the world.
To fulfil that promise we ensure that our products and services are high quality and safe.
We recognise too, our responsibility to ensure that we use water as efficiently as possible.
Globally, withdrawals by industry, by agriculture and by communities are set to exceed supply by 40% by 2030, according to the 2030 Water Resources Group.
As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we can make a significant contribution to helping address this problem, not just in our factories but in our supply chains and in our other facilities too.
Each innovation is a step towards a more sustainable future for our business and for the communities in which we operate, part of what we call Creating Shared Value.
We know it’s our job to save water. Here’s ten ways we do it.
1) Reducing the water used by tonne of product.
Today the amount of water used to produce each tonne of product is 41% lower than it was ten years ago. 362 water-saving projects at our factories are projected to save a further 1.7 million cubic metres a year.
2) Creating a ‘zero water’ factory in California.
We’re transforming our dairy factory in Modesto, California to use all of the water that is extracted from the milk we process, and then recycling it. By the end of 2016, we’ll save 98,000 cubic meters of water every year.
3) Adopting new technology to cool our factories
A new dry cooling system at our dairy factory in the Azores means we no longer have to use large amounts of sea water to cool the equipment used to make milk powder. The annual saving last year was equivalent to the amount of water needed to fill more than 240 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
4) Recycling or reusing water in our operations.
Waste water in our coffee factory in Vietnam is filtered and reused in the plant. We recycled or reused 7.7 million cubic metres of water across our operations in 2015, equivalent to 5.5% of our total global water withdrawals.
5) Working with partners to promote water stewardship.
Our factory in the Indian state of Karnataka is working with the local government and farmers on pilot projects for rice and sugar-cane growers, to help them adopt more efficient techniques for growing these water-intensive crops. Collective community action can help embed-long term sustainable water use.
6) Piloting new methods and technologies.
In Vietnam we’ve trained coffee farmers to use low-tech irrigation methods to manage and record the water they’ve used to irrigate their crops. We’re also working with local scientists on a short-term weather prediction model which updates the weather forecast for the farmers every six hours.
7) Helping farmers conserve water
In Panama we have help build spring water collection points in dairy farms. This means farmers can keep cows and calves in a better physical condition during the long dry season, and milk yields have risen by 10%.
8) Improving access to water and sanitation
Nestlé Pakistan has established seven drinking waters facilities near our factories. Globally, as a signatory of the WASH pledge we’ve ensured that every Nestlé employee has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene of an appropriate standard in the workplace.
9) Educating the next generation
In Argentina our local bottled water brand Eco de los Andes raises awareness of water conservation in schools through the Green Ribbon programme. Throughout the year Nestlé Waters employee volunteers visit schools to help support teachers in lessons about environmental sustainability.
10) Providing clean water and sanitation
Nearly 230,000 people in the cocoa-growing regions of Côte, d’Ivoire now have better access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, thanks to our work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We’ve been working with the IFRC since 2002 and renewed our partnership for five more years in 2014.
More information about each of these examples can be found in the Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments report 2016.