Does Bottled Water Have Environmental Effects?
Nestlé Waters represents 0.001% of all freshwater withdrawn in the world compared to agriculture (70%), industry (20%) and domestic use (10%). In the context of the global water challenge, Nestlé Waters acts responsibly by protecting its sources and reducing its water consumption all along its value chain.
Water is an essential renewable resource that must be preserved for future generations. For us, responsible water management does not stop at being best in class within the walls of our factories, but extends to collective actions with other water stakeholders to ensure the long-term sustainability of shared watersheds.
Today, all our factories are embarked on a water stewardship journey which includes collective actions like our flagship project in Agrivair. Agrivair is our «zero pesticide» project implementing measures for environmental protection. It is a subsidiary created in 1992 by Nestlé Waters France located around Vittel and Contrexéville (in the Vosges region of France). Its purpose is to develop a multidisciplinary scientific approach to protect the quality of sources with a cooperative approach based on reconciling local economic development and the sustainability of water resources with farmers, businesses, local authorities and residents as well as horticulturalists and landscape architects.
However, sustainable water management is a challenge that must be met by all stakeholders: policymakers, industry, agriculture and consumers. Good water stewards understand the water situation of the local catchment identify local water challenges (quantity of water, quality of water, access to safe drinking water...) and then engage in meaningful individual and collective actions to address these challenges.
Even as the global bottled water leader, Nestlé Waters represents 0.001% of all freshwater withdrawn in the world, compared to 70% for agriculture, 20% for industry and 10% for domestic use.
Nestlé Waters has in-house water experts such as natural resource managers and teams including hydrogeologists.
A hydrogeologist is as much an historian as a water diviner, researcher or chemist. This profession has a very practical aspect - finding underground water, setting up catchment mechanisms and mastering the operational technique - but it is also very closely connected to protecting the environment.
Governments are expected to take the lead in establishing water policies within which we and other water users can operate. We are open to assist in this process, and committed to developing our business in a way that facilitates effective water stewardship in the geographies where we source and we are committed to focusing on measures that are cost effective and relevant within a watershed.
We operate under a water use licence, or similar agreement, provided and approved by the relevant, competent public authority. We strictly operate under the conditions de ned by these licences, laws and regulations that are regularly updated, applying them to the sites where we own the land and also de ne pricing. We fully support balanced water resource protection regulations as well as adequate pricing for all water users to ensure the sustainable governance of watersheds in the long term.
What about water resource management in California?
The drought period in California has focused attention on the use of water by all sectors and led to the imposition of a 25% reduction on the state’s water supply agencies to be implemented over the coming year.
In California, Nestlé Waters is a proportionally small water user compared to agriculture and other light industrial water consumers.
- Of the 108 bottled water plants in the state, only five are operated by Nestlé Waters.
- Of the nearly 50 billion m3 of water used each year in California, Nestlé Waters plants produce around 4 million m3 which represents total water less than 0.006% of total water used in the state.
Because Nestlé Waters shares people’s concerns about the effect this drought is having on families, farmers, consumers, businesses and the environment in California, we are investing in technology and innovation across our water bottling and food manufacturing plants in California to reduce water consumption and apply conservation measures. For instance, as part of our water stewardship plan, work is underway to transform the Nestlé milk factory in Modesto into a “zero water” factory by end of 2016.
These combined efforts will potentially reduce our water withdrawals to be aligned with commitments made by the state of California.
In November 2014, Nestlé Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WWF-Pakistan for sustainable water use and water stewardship.
As part of its commitment to sustainable use of water, Nestlé Pakistan, in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan, will launch projects not just to improve the water usage within Nestlé operations and supply chain but will also implement Alliance of Water Stewardship standards.