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The ECO-Broye programme: preserving natural resources together

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An integrated, partnership approach

The ECO-Broye programme: preserving natural resources together

Henniez, June 8 2011 – Nestlé Waters Switzerland presents the first concrete achievements of the ECO-Broye programme, whose objective is to stimulate and coordinate efforts to preserve natural resources in the Henniez region. The programme aims to combine protection of the environment and local economic development for the mutual benefit of all concerned. Launched in 2009, just two years after acquiring the Henniez Sources Minérales brand, it took two years to set up the different partnerships between farmers, local authorities and other key players in the region. The ECO-Broye approach is original; although Nestlé Waters has been a driving force in the initial funding and project launches, in the long term the company aims to create a programme whose joint synergies will amplify and extend its overall impact.

Three projects are currently at the heart of ECO-Broye:

  • Criss-crossing ecological networks over 1,500 hectares of farmland. Establishing "ecological corridors" for wildlife between the natural habitat and farmland. By 2012, these areas will be established, with the participation of 64 farmers and the backing of the Vaud canton, the project owner.
Creating a natural filtration zone for a tributary of the Broye. This phytoremediation initiative draws on the properties of plants specially chosen for their capacity to absorb undesirable elements. The aim is to improve the quality of groundwater using a 100% organic process. An ambitious biogas production project, transforming organic waste produced by local farms and industry into clean energy, is to be established at Henniez, opposite the Nestlé Waters plant.

Preserving the environment is one of the most important challenges facing the planet today, as is safeguarding and managing water resources. Nestlé Waters has been committed to this cause for many years, as is borne out by its annual budget of around CHF 1 million in Switzerland.

Internationally, the company has just published its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which details all its activities in this field. This initiative is part of the Nestlé Group’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) programme.

Ecological networks The ecological networks project is founded on the Federal Ecological Quality Ordinance (OQE) whose aim is to remedy the fragmentation of wildlife habitat zones caused by the extension of farmland. To do so, ―cological corridors‖are set up to link formerly isolated biotopes by alternating woods, fields and meadows. As a result, a favourable development environment is given to numerous species. Similarly, the flora also benefits from these ―atural‖zones in farming environments, the primary objective of which is to favour biodiversity.

The project is the perfect illustration of the ECO-Broye partnership approach. Nestlé Waters, which initiated the project, funded the report made by a biologist that was then validated by the Agricultural Department of the Vaud canton. Finally, the project owner, the Vaud State, covers the direct aids paid to farmers to compensate their loss of earnings. Although the initial project targeted 400 hectares, the final project covers some 1,500 hectares across the municipalities of Henniez, Villarzel, Seigneux, Villars-Bramard, Trey, Curtilles and Marnand.

Natural filtration To protect a tributary of the Broye, a 100% organic phytoremediation area has been set up. This is based on the action of plants that are able to absorb undesirable elements naturally present in the soil or produced by human activity. In addition, this zone has created a specific biotope for amphibians and fish as it has replaced a stretch of stagnant water that was not attractive to wildlife.

The project is above all a test. Depending on its effectiveness, a similar filtration system will be applied to waste water leaving the Nestlé Waters plant.

Biogas plant An ambitious biogas plant project should make it possible to transform organic waste from regional agricultural and industrial activities into clean energy. Globally, this project also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby solving problems related to manure spreading and waste management. For breeders and farmers in particular, it would represent a recycling solution that does not currently exist.

Nestlé Waters, which initiated the project, will make land available to the plant and will buy the energy produced. However, in line with ECO-Broye principles, the company does not intend to be the only beneficiary: local communities, who will be less inconvenienced by the stench of manure spreading, farmers, for their organic waste management, and energy suppliers, the main investors in this project, will all benefit directly. As the feasibility study is nearly complete, work could begin in 2012.

Biodiversity and preserving resources: the Henniez example
HENNIEZ mineral water owes its properties to an environment that respects forestry and subsoil molasses. The water runs for some ten years beneath the wooded hillsides of the Vaud Broye—a territory that must be preserved to guarantee the qualities and purity of the spring.

In 1991, 70,000 trees were planted within its perimeter The Henniez Estate was created, representing a huge natural park of over one hundred hectares, primarily comprising forest. In addition, partnerships with local farmers were set up in an effort to focus on farming methods that are more environmentally friendly. This preserved zone gradually has beneficial effects on biodiversity: wildlife finds a haven and local flora is enriched with species that are reappearing. Today, ECO-Broye is pursuing this by extending its scope to the Henniez region.

For all information:

Cabinet Privé de Conseils SA - Sébastien Bourqui
[email protected] / Tel. +41 (0)22 321 45 40

Corporate Communication Nestlé Waters Suisse - Marieke Breugem
[email protected] / Tel. +41 (0)26 668 69 09

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