Nestlé shows support for World Water Day

Mar 22, 2012

Nestlé shows its support for World Water Day (Thursday 22 March), following the release of the ‘Meeting the Global Water Challenge report

Parts of the UK are in drought – water supplies are drying up and it's reached crisis point. International World Water Day focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Food and drink businesses are particularly vulnerable to shortages because we rely on supplies of freshwater for both our raw materials and processing needs.

Saving water is not new to Nestlé and the company has been reducing its water consumption for the last 30 years. The report catalogues the company’s achievements and progress in this area to-date and sets out a vision for the company’s ongoing commitment to driving water performance through operations, supply chain and with communities.

Globally, Nestlé is actively participating in the public policy debate and contributing to action-oriented dialogue through demonstrating leadership in voluntary multi-stakeholder initiatives that recognize water issues as shared risks and responsibilities. For example, Nestlé is a founding signatory of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate and Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe leads the World Economic Forum’s 2030 Water Resources Group, established to address the water challenge under the leadership of national Governments and stakeholders.

Closer to home, through the FDF, Nestlé are working with other manufacturers on how supply chains can reduce their water consumption. The 'Every Last Drop' guidance leaflet provides a series of 'golden rules' for food and drink manufacturing businesses of all sizes on what can be done to save water and manage its use effectively along the supply chain, including individuals at home.

Company-wide events and webinars are also being held to promote awareness among staff and to provide practical guidance on how to be more water efficient.

Our actions
Nestlé UK and Ireland has water reduction programmes in place at all its manufacturing sites, offices and distribution centres. To date we have reduced absolute water usage by 36% since 2006 – well ahead of our own 2020 target and our commitments under the Food and Drink Federation’s Federation House Commitment.

This has been achieved through a range of site specific reductions including:

  • The installation of a new £500,000 waste treatment plant at our Girvan site in September 2010.
  • Removing cooling towers and installing new washing systems at Fawdon reducing the amount of water taken in by 25%.
  • Investing £845,000 in an advanced treatment plant at Dalston to produce clean waste water from the production of Nescafé Cappuccino. The by-product from this process is used as fertiliser by local farmers.
  • Installing a new water control system in the Buxton mineral water production line to reduce the amount of water used by 50% - today only 1.26 litres of water is needed to produce 1 litre of Buxton mineral water.
  • Water footprinting studies have also been carried out on some of our key brands working with a WWF consultant and Delft University. The study showed that the total water footprint of a 750 gram carton of Bitesize Shredded Wheat equates to 274 litres per packet when served with semi-skimmed milk – or to put this into context, a typical Bitesize Shredded Wheat breakfast equates to 106 litres per serving (16 litres for biscuits and 90 litres for milk).

    Useful links:
    Meeting the Global Water Challenge report