Access and conservation

water conservation

Access and conservation

What is the issue?

Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is essential for health, and a human right. However, access to safe water is severely limited in some parts of the world.

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Why is it important?

Lack of access to water and sanitation can cause illness or death, impair productivity, and restrict markets for some products and services. We believe there is a clear and compelling economic case for businesses to demonstrate leadership by addressing this situation.


  • In progress
  • By 2016 – (globally) 350,000 beneficiaries in local communities will have access to water, sanitation or hygiene projects around our manufacturing facilities and in Farmer Connect areas.

Helping to protect natural water sources to ensure that people have access to safe water supplies.


In line with our commitment to UN SDG #6 – Clean water and sanitation, we raise awareness about water conservation measures across our value chain.

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What are we doing about it?

Globally, we continue to work with expert partners, including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to improve access to water and sanitation.

In 2014, Nestlé became one of the first signatories of the WBCSD WASH Pledge, committing to providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at all of our direct workplace premises within three years. By signing the pledge, we restated our own commitment and are encouraging others along the value chain to do the same.

Through education initiatives, we are helping our employees, suppliers and consumers to improve their understanding of the importance of water conservation. In the UK, we raise awareness of water conservation internally throughout our NiM factories through annual employee engagement events, and externally through our partnership with Project WET and World Water Day.

50 to 100 litres

The amount of fresh water every person needs to meet their basic daily needs, according to the WHO.

1.8 billion

The number of people around the world who depend on unsafe drinking water, according to the WBCSD.

Woman working with cocoa beans  

Improving access to drinking water

Nestlé has a long-standing partnership with the IFRC and Nestlé to increase access to safe water and sanitation in rural communities. The partnership, which is part of our Nestlé Cocoa Plan, has brought clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to more than 100,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa communities.

In 2015, Nestlé’s continued support enabled the water access project to expand to neighbouring Ghana.