Safeguarding the sustainability of shared water resources requires a common approach to water stewardship. This implies methods and guidance to continuously improve water stewardship practices. Nestlé Waters is committed to certifying all of our sites to the publicly-recognized Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard by 2025.
What is AWS?
AWS, or Alliance for Water Stewardship, was launched in 2014 by industry leaders, public sector agencies, academic institutes, and prominent environmental conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund . AWS is the first global water stewardship standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. AWS provides a globally-applicable framework that allows major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently towards sustainable water management. The AWSStandard helps sites acquire best practices in order to address the shared water challenges of a watershed and ensure responsible water stewardship actions for all stakeholders.
Benefits of AWS certification
The AWS certification process enables broader, improved collaboration among local stakeholders. It promotes responsible water use that benefits local communities socially and economically, while ensuring environmental sustainability of watersheds. Its leads to a stronger understanding of local water challenges and more meaningful collective actions to address them – all vital to sustainable water resource management.
Nestlé Waters currently has eight bottling sites certified against the AWS standard. All five of its California sites are certified, with the Cabazon factory achieving the stringent gold-level certification – the first in North America to do so. The Hope factory in Canada and two sites in Pakistan (Sheikhpura and Islamabad) are also certified.
The Sheikhpura factory, which was the first Nestlé site to receive certification, provides a practical illustration of the benefits of applying the AWS standard. The site is located in Pakistan, which is a water-scarce country. Our local team began by working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and AWS to kick-start the water stewardship journey. After consulting with the local community, an action plan was developed to improve the quality and quantity of the water. One quantified outcome is an estimated 7.4 million gallons (28 million litres) of water saved in 2016. However, the impact of certification extends beyond the factory. Practical benefits to the community include access to safe drinking water, savings in agricultural water use and improved management of effluent discharges from other factories that can seep into the watershed.
In California, as a result of the additional outreach implied by the certification process, our local team was led to interact with other partners, becoming more aware of the downstream impacts of their operations and engaging with wastewater organizations in a way they had not done previously.
Nestlé Waters first committed to the Alliance for Water Stewardship ( AWS) Standard in 2017. In June 2018, the company took another major step forward with the announcement that it will extend its commitment to water stewardship by certifying all of its sites to the AWS Standard by 2025.
Spearheading the AWS drive
At Nestlé Waters, we are well aware that the sustainability of shared water resources requires that all water users work together. As the world’s leading bottled water company, we seek to use our experience to not only demonstrate that good water stewardship is possible, but to encourage the industry to join us in committing to the AWS Standard.
Did you know?
Collaboration on the Cucamonga project in California, will add 250 million gallons of clean drinking water each year to the local water supply.