Water treatment

water discharge

Water treatment

What is the issue?

Any water discharged into rivers and waterways must be treated effectively, in order to avoid damaging ecosystems.

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Why is it important?

We are committed to developing our business in a way that helps to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services. This includes water discharge.


  • In progress
  • By 2016 – Implement the new and strengthened Nestlé Environmental Requirements for water quality and effluent discharge in all factories in order to help protect the environment.

Minimising harm to ecosystems and safeguarding the quality of local water supplies.


Compliance with regulations, and more sustainable use of water resources.

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What are we doing about it?

In the UK, water discharge and treatment is subject to robust statutory regulation. Nestlé is fully compliant with this regulation. We continue to look for new ways to manage the waste and wastewater generated from our operating sites and factories, ensuring that we meet both our own internal high standards and those of the regulators.

Nestlé has set ambitious targets for discharged water quality from 2016. To help us track our progress towards these targets, we’ve created a water and effluents dashboard that captures data on our water withdrawal, discharge and quality. We also train our employees to raise awareness of water discharge and treatment issues.

Wherever possible, we use municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Where appropriate we invest in our own facilities to discharge water treated to a level that meets local legislation or our internal standards, whichever is more stringent.

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AD waste treatment at Fawdon

Following a £3.2 million investment, the liquid and solid waste produced by our Fawdon factory is treated by a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant. The AD plant uses naturally occurring bacteria to digest the waste, creating biogas. The biogas fuels a combined heat and power engine which provides power for the site. Thanks to this innovative process, Fawdon is now a zero-waste factory, and discharges no effluents to the local water environment.

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What’s next?

We will continue to track our progress towards our 2016 targets for water quality and effluent discharge, investing in our facilities to improve wastewater treatment where appropriate.