Water efficiency

Our commitment: Work to achieve water efficiency and sustainability across our operations


By 2016 – Implement projects in our California facilities that will save 144 million gallons of water per year.

By 2017 – Implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship International standard in our water bottling and food manufacturing factories in California.

By 2018 – Commit to conducting a water resources review at six of our priority sites across the United States.

Our progress

Water is vital to our operations, used for washing and processing raw materials, cooling and cleaning equipment, hygiene and our bottled water business. Altogether, our U.S. factories are withdrawing 10% less water per ton of product than they did five years ago. Technologies we have already deployed successfully elsewhere to help address water scarcity are improving our water use efficiency in the United States, especially in California. Our “zero water” technology, pioneered at our dairy factory in Jalisco, Mexico, takes fresh cow’s milk, normally around 88% water, and heats it at low pressure to remove some of its water content. The resulting steam is then condensed, treated, purified and made available for a variety of uses.

Reusing water from the milk in this way reduces the need to extract groundwater for operations. Plans are underway at our facility in Modesto, California to transform this factory into a “zero water” factory. Nestlé is implementing water-savings projects at its ice cream factories in Bakersfield and Tulare and our Nestlé Waters bottling plants in California. Together, these initiatives will save 144 million gallons of water annually.

Nestlé is being recognized for its continued dedication to water conservation. In the 2016 Feeding Yourself Thirsty report, sustainability non-profit organization Ceres ranks Nestlé the highest performer out of the 42 largest food sector companies in the United States. With the highest overall score of 82 points out of 100, Nestlé was commended as one of the only companies to have set goals for sustainable sourcing, use theoretical approaches to understand their water-related risk exposure, and regularly brief its board on water-related issues.

Learn more about what we are doing to conserve water in California.