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VITTEL wins the Environmental Special Mention award at the ESSEC Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries

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Press release
Paris, Wednesday February 6th, 2013

Innovative land management:
VITTEL wins the Environmental Special Mention award
at the ESSEC Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries

Under the high patronage of the French Ministry for Productive Recovery, VITTEL natural mineral water has received the Environmental Special Mention award at the ESSEC (a major french Business School) Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries, for its pioneering approach to managing the land around its spring. This special mention rewards the "zero pesticide" environmental protection measures adopted for more than 20 years by Agrivair, a Nestlé Waters France subsidiary.

These 20 years have seen the construction of a pioneering industrial model which reconciles economy and ecology, and whose development potential puts it a step ahead of the field.

Agrivair: how a shared vision of the land has emerged

The VITTEL land project provides a topical example of successful interrelation between human activities and the local ecosystem. Since it was founded in 1992, Agrivair - a subsidiary of Nestlé Waters France - has implemented an innovative system of land management in order to protect the quality of the mineral water resources from any agricultural, industrial or urban pollution. This local pioneering model has led the various stakeholders to work together to create a unique "zero pesticide" zone of approximately 10,000 hectares:, with the farmers embracing an alternative agricultural model, with companies, local authorities and individuals all committing to the project, and with trees playing a central role in the solutions adopted. Step by step, Agrivair's measures have proved their effectiveness thanks to permanent experimentation and regular assessment of the policies implemented.

Agrivair has successfully taken up this challenge by initiating a "let's do it together" approach which has enabled the stakeholders' territorial interests to be combined with the notion of Creating Shared Value. Beyond the protection of the VITTEL mineral water spring, this multi-stakeholder concertation has made it possible to reconcile local economic development, ecological transition, increased biodiversity and preservation of water resource quality.

Agrivair - VITTEL: the pilot for a biodiversity label

As part of this pioneering initiative, Agrivair - VITTEL is now the pilot for a biodiversity label created by a specialized certification body. This benchmark will be an innovation in the field of Business to Business labeling: it will assess all the interrelations between a company and its living environment, within the scope of its industrial activity.

"Today companies can experiment an interesting challenge: the gradual implementation of an innovative economy which will place societal and environmental challenges at the core of its strategy. Agrivair is living proof that it is profitable for everybody to combine economy with ecology. We hope that this initiative which has now been underway for over 20 years will be a model for other industries. Any ground broken by some of us means an equivalent amount of time saved for everyone." Denis Cans, President, Nestlé Waters France-Belgium. 

The first edition of the ESSEC Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries

This year the ESSEC business school’s Consumer Products Department launched the first edition of the "ESSEC Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries".

The awards go to the best CSR initiatives taken by companies manufacturing consumer goods in France. The awards ceremony took place on February 5th 2013 at Bercy, under the high patronage of the French Ministry for Productive Recovery.

The Environmental Special Mention prize received by Vittel was awarded by a panel made up of ESSEC students. It adopts a forward-looking approach to the consumer goods industry and rewards an entrepreneurial initiative displaying ambition, vision and innovation, and offering significant growth prospects.

Media contact:
Emmanuelle Pometan
Emmapom/ Nouvelle Culture agency
[email protected]
06 11 34 04 88 or 09 50 99 39 84

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