Nestlé Zimbabwe on Friday commissioned a new Industrial Water Treatment Plant within its factory premises in Harare. The plant is part of a $30 million capital investments set up five years ago to refurbish Nestlé’s manufacturing lines and develop the new industrial waste water treatment plant.
Speaking during the commission ceremony, the Director General of Environmental Management Agency, Mrs M. D. Chasi said, "It is gratifying to come across a company like Nestlé Zimbabwe who includes environmental management as part of its business philosophy. If all companies follow Nestlé’s example it will ensure environmental sustainability as stipulated by the Sustainable Development Goals which have Water and Sanitation at their core."
She, further added, "If all companies in Southerton Industrial area would embark in reducing solid waste discharge in municipal drainages, Harare water would greatly improve and reduce the cost of water treatment at the Harare Municipal‘s Morton Jeffery Waterworks currently being refurbished for over 144 million dollars."
Speaking at the same event, Nestlé Senior Vice President (Africa and Middle East) Mr. John Miller said water is very critical to food security and thus an essential commodity in Nestlé’s business and value chain. "It is alarming that global water withdrawals are predicted to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. Respecting the right to safe, clean water and sanitation, Nestlé strives to use water efficiently and facilitate responsible water stewardship," said John Miller.
Over the years, Nestlé has strengthened its Environmental Requirements for water quality and effluent discharge, applied by all factories to ensure they go beyond legal compliance across our operations.
According to John Miller, In 2015, Nestlé approved a spend of CHF 19.4 million on improved efficiency, water conservation measures, new and upgraded treatment facilities, and strengthened water quality requirements for effluent treatment installations. This means we have invested a total of almost CHF 400 million in water-saving projects in our factories over the last decade.
"Since 2005, water discharges per tonne of products at Nestle have fallen by 56%. In 2015, it fell by 8.2% and waste water quality improved by 2.3% to 70mg Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) per litre. For this improvement, in 2015, we received a ‘Leadership level’ CDP score of A– for our best-practice approach to managing water and mitigating water risks," he said.
Nestlé Zimbabwe’s commitment to Environmental Sustainability has also been extended to the dairy farmers where support is given in the construction of Bio Gas Digesters to save energy and reduce the gaseous omissions of dairy cows which is also contributing to global warming.
Nestlé believes in building a business capable of both delivering superior shareholder value and helping communities it operates in to improve their nutrition, health and wellness. "At Nestlé we call this business philosophy Creating Shared Value (CSV) and it is the approach taken by all the Nestlé business entities around the world," said Mr. Miller.
Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value is crafted along three pillars - Nutrition, Rural Development and Water. The stewardship of water under the CSV agenda is in line with Nestlé’s commitment to 17 Sustainable Development Goals which 193 member states of the United Nations, civil society and the private sector all signed in September 2015.