Nestlé Waters leads many projects develop local infrastructures and economical development for local communities around natural sources of water.
Few commercial goods are so intimately linked with their origin as bottled water. Indeed, we have an inextricable cultural link with the regions where we operate.
Naturally sourced waters : a strong cultural heritage
Particularly for our naturally sourced waters, it is often the case that the name of our brand is identical to the town, or directly refers to the geographical origin of the source.
We then share a common identity that creates a mutual responsibility with respect to one another’s reputation. The common identity has sometimes been built over decades or even centuries, when mineral water stood for thermal spas.
In most cases, while we are no longer the owner of thermal spas, they are a core constituent of our history and we have a common interest with the new private or public owners to maintain and invigorate this cultural heritage.
One of the most symbolic aspects of the connection between brand and community is sharing access to water with the local population.
Did you know?
- Many public fountains and taps within thermal compounds are directly sourced from Nestlé Waters’ resources and maintained by the company.
- Going beyond sharing drinking water, Nestlé Waters factories are
sometimes involved in improvement of the local water supply
infrastructures for domestic or agricultural need.
Water management in São Lourenço, Brazil Addressing the concerns of our neighbours
Nestlé Waters acquired the SÃO LOURENÇO brand in the 90’s.
Our first priority was to ensure the alignment of the manufacturing
facilities to Nestlé Waters’ standards and processes. While focusing on
the transformation of factory operations, local management initially
missed an opportunity to establish a regular and open dialogue with the
local stakeholders to explain the on-going changes and listen to the
developing concerns of the São Lourenço population.
In the early 2000s, Nestlé Waters Brazil experienced community discontent over its operations.
Three events set off the controversy, including: floods in the São
Lourenço region, Nestlé Waters Brazil’s decision to change the mineral
content of a new brand sourced from the spring and the poor conditions
of the park the factory was located in due to lack of investment.
The park – owned by Nestlé Waters – is one of the city’s main tourist attractions and is home to nine different natural mineral water springs.
The dissatisfaction with Nestlé Waters’ operations initiated a new
strategy targeted at engaging in open dialogue with the community. Relevant stakeholders were identified and a meeting was held with
local NGO representatives, community officials and key opinion leaders. This meeting initiated an open dialogue with the community and Nestlé Waters Brazil.
Our response was to first renovate the park’s spa, a project that was
finished in the beginning of 2008. Another project included native pine
tree restoration over an area of 26,000m2.
Other community measures included social and educational events in
the park to draw visitors, and programmes in partnership with the
government designed to improve health and wellness.
The Amigos do Parque group
In 2008, Nestlé Waters Brazil decided to further strengthen its
relations with the local community by creating the Amigos do Parque
group, made up of local government representatives, NGOs and other
members of the community.
The group’s objective was to open and foster dialogue with the city
in order to discuss issues and future projects, all for the parks
benefit. Lastly, school education and teacher training programmes were
developed to educate children about healthy eating habits.
Over 5,000m3 a year are provided at no cost directly to St. Anne’s fountain in the town centre of Buxton, for public drinking water supply.
Our ERIKLI brand originates from the region of Bursa in Turkey. The surrounding local villages of Alacam, Saitabat and Derekkizik have benefited from continuous investments by Nestlé Waters to revitalise and upgrade the local water supply facilities.
In addition to providing safe water to the population, these investments help to develop the efficiency of local irrigation systems, covering more than 400 ha of farm land in rural communities.
RECOARO : when mayor and brand speak in one voice
In late 2009, RECOARO, one of the regional brands of Nestlé Waters Italy, ran a press campaign featuring the mayor of Recoaro (in the Veneto region of Italy), who agreed to act as a spokesman for the brand.
The brand and the city have joined forces for an advertising campaign to promote the intimate link between the brand and the territory. The aim is to foster public-private sector synergies designed to create value for both the industry and for the local community.
The campaign features the slogan “Proud to drink mineral water, proud to be from Recoaro”. The mayor of Recoaro appears in the press campaign promoting the natural mineral water that is a precious resource embodying the excellence of the region.
Our corporate social responsibility platform in Egypt
Nestle Waters Egypt set up a corporate social responsibility platform that will improve Kafr el Arbein village, which is a rural village where our Banha factory is located and where our BARAKA water brand is produced.
The village is part of Banha City (Kalioubiya Governorate), about 40 kilometres north of Egypt’s capital city, Cairo.
The aim of this project is to address the village’s infrastructure, including significant improvement to the village’s road safety, cleanliness and environment, as well as contribute to the village’s beautification.
This project was originally planned internally at Nestle Waters Egypt in 2007, and since then we have been working in partnership with local authorities.
The project has helped this local operation to build strong ties with local partners as well as with its employees.
Project components include:
- Re-asphalting the village’s main roads
- Cleaning a canal and building banks with stones and public benches
- Creating safe sidewalks for pedestrians
- Upgrading the lighting system along main roads
- Covering the canal facing the factory and planting a garden
- Transferring the weekly market from the village centre to another location<:li>
- Transforming streets in order to allow the trucks to drive safely
- Reinforcing a bridge, dramatically enhancing pedestrians safety in the village
- Planting trees along main roads
- Installing rubbish bins and implementing a daily street cleaning and rubbish collection system
- Uniform painting of the village buildings for design character
Nestle Waters attended a weekly village meeting to discuss with village representatives the importance of their role to the success of the project, as well as any future changes that the village should be aware of.
In addition, an awareness campaign was initiated to bring attention to personal health, safety and environmental responsibility. Initially, ten boards were placed on the village main street, and later more boards were produced with images of local residents.
Feedback from the local residents was very positive, with the most constructive change being the placement of bins and daily street cleaning and rubbish collection.
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