Care for Water
Water is vital to all life.
Global availability of clean and safe water is already in short supply.
Climate change, higher water consumption, growing urbanization, and damaged infrastructure are some of the factors contributing to the deterioration of the natural water cycle. Additionally, rising temperatures and more extreme weather patterns are causing more flooding and droughts.
These trends are impacting the global availability of clean, safe water. Impact is apparent at a local level, with those in vulnerable societies feeling it most, including many of the farmers who grow food and the ingredients for food products.
We at Nestlé protect our precious water resources through our Caring for Water initiative. As of 2025, our actions will help nature retain more water than we use in our water business.
We will also work with farmers and communities to improve water efficiency.
What have we done so far
We at Nestlé protect the quality of natural waters and steward water resources. We are advancing the regeneration of the water cycle to help create a positive water impact everywhere our waters business operates.
We use our expertise through the implementation of more than 100 projects for our 48 Waters sites by 2025. These measurable actions will support better water management and infrastructure.
All projects are measurable, using the World Resources Institute’s Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting (VWBA) methodology, which provides consistency in analyzing water management activities and helps to ensure that such activities address current and future shared water challenges.
Examples of how Nestlé does this in the Middle East and North Africa include leading the drive for multisectoral partnership to help Lebanon’s Shouf Biosphere Reserve successfully enhance the recharge of groundwater reservoirs; a project to irrigate organic agriculture with excess water in Jordan; the delivery of water treatment, filtration and pipeline infrastructure for the municipal water supply in Benha, Egypt; and constructing a water fountain near our water factory in Algeria to provide access to clean water.
Other global examples include protecting land from development and natural flood management interventions in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and river restoration and renaturation projects in Vosges, France.
Overall, we have collaborated with local authorities to provide access to water hygiene and sanitation (WASH) services around our facilities to more than 1.4 million people around the world, including 30,000 in the Middle East and North Africa.
We have reduced our global operations’ direct water withdrawals per tonne of product by 32% since 2010, with the Middle East and North Africa reducing 42% across regional food factories in the same period.
Alliance for Water Stewardship
We at Nestlé are committed to certifying all of our Waters sites with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard by 2025, which requires water users to understand and act collectively on water challenges.
We do this across four key areas:
- In factorieswhere we continuously improve water use efficiency
- In watershedswhere we work with partners to protect shared water resources
- Across our agricultural supply chainswhere we help stakeholders improve water management practices
- In communitieswhere we operate to provide access to clean water and sanitation
We have already AWS-certified 28 of our water factories around the world, including three in the Middle East and North Africa, and we’ve committed to certifying all our water factories globally by 2025.
The AWS ignites and nurtures global and local leadership in credible water stewardship that recognizes and secures the social, cultural, environmental, and economic value of freshwater. AWS is a global network dedicated to advancing and deepening the impact of credible water stewardship.
We are also expanding our current efforts to manage water sustainably and increase our collaboration with partners to identify and support local solutions that are designed to help regenerate ecosystems.
A monitoring study in Lebanon’s Shouf Mountains, done over two years in collaboration between the Shouf Biosphere Reserve and Nestlé Waters, found the area’s overall groundwater balance to be positive by around 12 million cubic meters per year, and led to the creation of a committee to tackle high impact from climate change and human activities. Multisectoral partnership has since been put in place to help the Reserve successfully enhance the recharge of groundwater reservoirs in the area.
Helping develop thriving and resilient communities is also being done through such collaborations as one with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Jordanto supply villagers with safe drinking water by providing a new well in the village of Hussainiya, about 170 Kilometers south of Amman, drilled using state of the art technology. The well can pump up to 120 cubic meters per hour to cover the clean water needs of over 20,000 people in the area.
Nestlé is collaborating with local authorities in Benha, Egypt, where a Nestlé bottling facility operates, to rehabilitate and help improve the water supply in the area. Benha is home to the community of Kafr Arbeen – a village of 27,000 people who lack access to clean water. The village’s water station was revamped, with a new water storage tank installed and pumping efficiency improved. A filtration system was also installed, and the piping network expanded so that more people get clean running water in their homes. In addition, the main irrigation canal of surrounding agricultural land was cleaned of polluting waste, and had its floor and walls reinforced to prevent leaking and improve flow.
Read more on the Caring for Water page, and download the 2020 Nestlé Creating Shared Value report.