It’s our job to save water: Here’s how we do it

Celebrating World Water Day

Mar 22, 2016

‘Good Food, Good Life’ is the promise we make to billions of consumers around the world.

To fulfill that promise we ensure that our products and services are high quality and safe.

We recognize 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 are ten ways we are doing it, both in Canada and around the world.

  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. Over 360 water-saving projects at our factories are projected to save a further 1.7 million cubic meters a year. At Nestlé Waters Canada, our water efficiency is better than the industry average. This means that today it takes us slightly less than 1.3 litres of water to deliver 1 litre of drinking water. By comparison, it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of soft drink or 12 litres of water to product one litre of beer. 
  2. Reducing our water bottle packaging. Our Eco-Shape 500 mL bottle is one of the lightest containers in the beverage industry and contains 60% less plastic than the bottles we provided in 2000. This allowed Nestlé Waters Canada to reduce the amount of energy we use by 50% annually and our greenhouse gas emissions by 45% since 2000.
  3. Recycling our water bottles. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable and almost 72% of our bottles were recycled across Canada in 2014.  The Montclair 500 mL bottle is made of 100% recycled PET plastic. We use 100% recycled corrugated trays and pads, which is equivalent to saving over 57,000 mature trees, and we have diverted 96% of this valuable commodity from landfill.
  4. Working with partners to promote water stewardship. Nestlé Waters Canada is a main partner of Project WET Canada. The mission of Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is to reach children, parents, teachers and community members to promote water education and empower action to solve water-related issues. Through its partnership, Nestlé Waters Canada is supporting the education of Canadian children on the importance of preserving water.
  5. 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.
  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 program. 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.