We believe that biodiversity benefits the entire population. We intend to further extend good practices in order to continuously contribute to environmental excellence in our partner communities.
Or water care approach has another benefit other than preserving the long-term integrity of groundwater resources. Limiting the use of pesticides and fertilisers, preserving land and re-vegetating/restoring disturbed areas is also very beneficial to local biodiversity.
In 2010, our PLANCOËT natural mineral water factory in France initiated a programme with five local partners for the enhancement and protection of biodiversity and natural heritage around the spring source.
The programme aims to be an example of exemplary site management in Brittany, as well as a site for environmental education and eco-tourism.
A research study is currently underway that will report on the success of the programme and will be released in 2012.
Water management and habitat protection – Henniez, Switzerland
Biodiversity and species survival is being threatened globally through human disruption of land and ecosystems. One of the key reasons for this decline is habitat degradation due to polluted runoff from agricultural practices.
Organic farming practices initiated within the Henniez estate in Switzerland have helped to maintain quality habitat, both on natural areas and agricultural land. Taking advantage of the protected and clean environment, a local beekeeper has set up several successful hives, and honey is now being produced at Henniez.
Water management and watershed protection – Santa María, México
Aztec legend surrounds the crystal-clear waters of Santa María Atepatzingo spring.
A tale of ill-fated lovers, legend has it that the bodies of Princess Iztaccihuatl and warrior Popocatepetl formed a pair of volcanoes, one active (at 5,452m) and one extinct (at 5,286m) in the Izta-popo National Park in central Mexico.
From the depths of the Iztaccihuatl volcano, having first seeped through the surface geological layer composed largely of volcanic sediment that has undergone a dissolving process, SANTA MARÍA spring water drains into the deepest-lying rocks and then rises naturally under a protected stone shelter beneath a grassy slope on a ranch near the village of Tlahuapan.
Unlike many water sources that come from unprotected sites within Mexico, the waters of the SANTA MARÍA Atepatzingo spring lie at the heart of a 2,438 hectare protected ranch.
Formerly utilised for agricultural fields and fruit trees, restoration of the bare, unused land began in November 2001. Within a few years, approximately 100 hectares had been restored to the native forest of pine and oak.
This restoration is important to prevent erosion and to encourage replenishment of the groundwater. By 2006, the restoration was so successful that a Mexican environmental agency classified the area as an experimental ecology zone devoted solely to the protection of forest and wildlife.
As of 2009, 348,124 new trees were planted on the ranch, encouraging protection of the watershed and laying the foundation for a diverse ecosystem. In addition to environmental protection, we also aim to respect the water needs of the surrounding community.
Nestlé Waters uses only 10% of the spring source for bottling, the rest flowing on to the surrounding villages, to be used for agriculture, industry and domestic needs.
Cultural and ecological preservation in a UNESCO biosphere reserve – Viladrau, Spain
The Montseny mountain range, the highest area within Catalonia in eastern Spain, is home to a diverse range of landscapes, habitats and flora and fauna.
This unique landscape was formally recognised for its natural beauty and varied environment in 1978 and was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The reserve serves as a regional natural wonder, attracting over 1,500 tourists every year. Just outside of this 30,000 hectare reserve lies the small town of Viladrau, home to Nestlé Waters’ VILADRAU natural spring.
The underground waters of Viladrau are inextricably linked to the water catchment within the biosphere, making watershed preservation critical for both the spring and the UNESCO status of the reserve.
The Montseny Biosphere Reserve is home to a variety of European natural environments, from Mediterranean to oak woodland to boreo-alpine vegetation on the mountaintops.
This range of habitats results in a corresponding high diversity of habitats and species. The reserve hosts 270 species typical of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, including wild boar, foxes, and the endemic and endangered Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi).
We employ a biodiversity protection policy to ensure that the spring is properly managed and that the surrounding environment does not feel the impact of human activity. Environmental improvements such as site restoration and tree planting in the area around the factory have had marked effects. In addition to partnerships with local stakeholders, starting in 2010, UNESCOCAT, the UNESCO Catalan branch, will monitor the Viladrau factory for its impact on biodiversity.
It is our hope that the results of the surveys and monitoring will show that the efforts of the VILADRAU factory have maintained and improved the biodiversity of the area as well as the watershed as a whole.
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