Caring for Water

Water is a shared resource that we are committed to managing sustainably. We unequivocally believe access to water is a basic human right. Everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation. Responsible water stewardship is a key part of achieving our ambition to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations. Water is essential for our business. The ingredients we source need water to grow and we need water to run our manufacturing facilities.

Sustainable Water Use Throughout Supply Chains

Oftentimes, our biggest environmental impact happens before ingredients even reach our production facilities. That’s why we aim to add value to the agricultural lands that comprise our supply chain. We work just as hard to ensure healthy ecosystems in addition to healthy hydration for consumers.

  • In 2018, Nestlé Purina launched a three-year water project to improve the sustainability of the beef supply chain. This program could help save 2.4 billion gallons of irrigation water over three years, which is equivalent to roughly 7,200 households over that time period.
  • Nestlé Purina also partnered with the Soil Health Partnership and the Soil Health institute to support soil protection efforts, including around water sustainability, that farmers are constantly working on. Through a $1 million contribution to The Nature Conservancy’s reThink Soil initiative, we are also investing in the future for our business, as well as our soil.

Meeting and Exceeding Stewardship Standards

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the water efficiency of our 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 more carefully manage the flow of water in and out of facilities, and reducing supplemental irrigation on the grounds of each factory.

  • Our Cabazon and Los Angeles, California factories received certification in March 2018 against the rigorous Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard, with the Cabazon facility achieving an AWS Gold certification – the first facility in North America to do so.
  • All five of Nestlé Waters North America’s California factories are now certified to the AWS Standard which measures responsible water stewardship, not just in terms of environmental criteria, but also social and economic dimensions..

The Power of Collective Action

With regions of the United States grappling with long and severe droughts, concern about the long-term sustainability of water resources became a key issue for food and beverage companies. We partner with industry alliances such as the California Water Action Collaborative and the Alliance for Water Stewardship to ensure shared value for all and support healthy water systems.

  • We continue to be an active member of the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), whose goal is to create measurable positive impacts on water security by bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders committed to collective action in order to improve California’s water security for people, business, agriculture, and nature.
  • We also continue our watershed restoration work across the country. In southern Maine, where we produce Poland Spring, Nestlé Waters North America is working with the University of New England to protect a 1500-square-mile watershed. Additionally, as part of the Sacramento River Watershed Collaborative, we are coordinating local stakeholders to better monitor and protect the river and its watershed.

Where we make an impact

Driven by our company purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future, we have defined three overarching ambitions which will guide our work towards achieving our 2020 commitments and supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our global efforts in these areas are supported through 42 commitments.

Learn more about Nestlé's global approach to support the planet