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Measuring water stewardship

Q&A with Cédric Egger
Measuring water stewardship
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What does it take to obtain AWS gold-level certification? Cédric Egger, Global Water Resources Manager for Nestlé Waters, describes the rigorous standards for excellent water stewardship.

3 Questions to Cédric Egger, Global Water Resources Manager for Nestlé Waters, responsible for coordinating the company’s commitment to AWS Certification.

Nestlé Waters has just achieved North America’s first AWS gold-level certification for the Cabazon factory in California. What extra work did you have to do to obtain Gold?

To achieve gold-level certification, a site has to meet forty advanced criteria, in addition to those required of core-level certification. These criteria look at different types of water use in the catchment, including spring monitoring, the evaluation of indirect water use in the catchment, as well as best practices along the supply chain. Stakeholder engagement is also a key factor in gold-level certification, requiring that a majority of stakeholders affirm the positive contributions made by a site to a catchment’s water balance and quality. Striving for AWS certification, particularly gold level, pushes us to continually improve our water stewardship practices for the good of all local water stakeholders.

Every Nestlé Waters plant in California is now AWS certified. Was this a priority?

Yes. California was selected as the first location for AWS certification because of the shared water challenges in the state. We will continue to prioritize our actions where it matters.

With eight factories now certified, what have you learned so far?

The process of AWS certification has shown us the true value of increased stakeholder engagement and collective actions, which are essential to responsibly manage water resources. This has been especially true in us being able to achieve gold-level certification. We have also been able to align our existing practices, like our hydro-geological studies and factory-level water mapping, with those required by the Standard. We are now starting to look at what the impact of our water stewardship and certification efforts are on the catchments through an ‘impact value chain”. The experience of certifying eight factories has also put us in a good position to continue on our certification journey and meet our commitment to certify 20 factories by 2020.