Improving The Environmental Impact of Bottled Water Manufacturing
Nestlé Waters has introduced a number of initiatives in its factories to reduce the environmental footprint of its manufacturing operations. As part of its commitment to help shape sustainable consumption, we are moving towards greater use of renewable energies such as biogas-generated electricity, solar and wind.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Making bottled water is a relatively light process compared to many other manufacturing industries. At Nestlé Waters, in 2016, the manufacturing phase accounted for approximately one fifth of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and non-renewable energy footprint. More specifically, our manufacturing operations generated 25.7 g CO2eq and consumed 0.45 MJ of non-renewable energy, per liter of bottled water. This represents a 17% decrease of both indicators compared to 2011 (see chart).
As part of this positive trend, Nestlé Waters has initiated or participates in a number of programs designed to further reduce our GHG emissions. Since the issue of climate change doesn’t stop at our factory doors, the projects we are most proud of are those that reduce not only our own environmental footprint but those of the other stakeholders in communities where we operate.
Powering plants with renewables
Nestlé Waters is seriously exploring the economic feasibility of renewable energies to reduce the environmental footprint of our factory operations.
Biogas in Switzerland
The Eco-Broye water stewardship project has been extended to the realm of renewable energies. Nestlé Waters worked hand in hand on this project with Groupe E Greenwatt, the operator and builder of the largest biogas plant in Switzerland. To produce the biogas, 25,000 tons of agricultural fertilizer are collected annually from local farms, plus 3,800 tons of coffee grounds generated by the nearby Nespresso and Nescafé plants. The plant then generates 4 million kWh of electricity and 4.5 million kWh of heat. Most of the heat is used by the Henniez bottling plant, replacing heat formerly generated by fossil fuels and boosting the plant’s share of renewable energy consumed to above 50%.
Wind power in Pennsylvania
In February 2018, Nestlé and EDP Renewables signed a 15-year power purchase agreement that will provide approximately 80 percent of the electricity load for five Nestlé facilities in Pennsylvania, including the Nestlé Waters North America factories in Allentown and Mechanicsburg. This demand for wind energy will drive the expansion of EDPR’s Meadow Lake VI wind farm’s capacity by 50 MW, enough to power approximately 17,700 homes for one year. With this program, 20% of the electricity Nestlé uses in the U.S. will come from renewable sources in 2019 (Source: Gulf Construction).
North American facility to be run 100% by renewables
On May 1, 2018, Nestlé Waters North America Energy formed a partnership with Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) to source renewable electricity that will power the Sacramento bottling facility. The mixture of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power generated via SMUD’s pilot project will be used by NWNA to produce Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water. By transitioning its electrical power needs to renewable sources, the carbon footprint of the Nestlé Waters factory will be reduced by more than 21,279 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next three years (Source: Energy Manager Today).
Solar power in Dubai
In December 2017, Nestlé signed an agreement with lease-to-own solar power solutions provider Yellow Door Energy for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at three of its Dubai plants, including the Nestlé Waters factory at National Industries Park. Once fully-operational, the solar power plants are expected to produce 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity daily, which would contribute to the reduction of 6000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
Reducing water consumption
As water grows scarce, reducing water consumption is a key factor in working towards a sustainable planet. As part of Nestlé Waters’ ongoing efforts to improve the water efficiency of its operations, we have implemented a number of conservation techniques and initiatives in our factories over the years, including reverse osmosis to better filter and reuse wastewater, advanced water mapping to better manage the flow of water in and out of our plants, and xeriscaping, which reduces the need for supplemental irrigation on the grounds of our factories.
Certification is a core component of water stewardship at Nestlé Waters. We are committed to certifying all of our sites to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard by 2025. A recent audit conducted as part of the AWS certification process for its five California factories revealed a combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017.