Water Efficiency

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


As a nutrition, health and wellness company, water is key to our operations and products. We use it in cleaning and preparing our raw materials and for cooling and cleaning equipment. We also bottle water to provide healthy hydration solutions for our consumers. Although we have made real progress in recent years, we continuously seek to improve the sustainability of our withdrawal, use and treatment of water.

Our objectives in 2016

By 2016: Define water stewardship initiatives and start implementation in five high-priority locations.

By 2016: Implement water savings projects in 100% of high-priority manufacturing facilities.

By 2016: Carry out 45 new Water Resource Reviews (WRRs) in selected manufacturing facilities and all greenfield sites.

Our progress to date

We implement programmes to reduce water withdrawal, reuse water and utilise alternative sources, such as rainwater. These efforts have enabled us to reduce water withdrawal per tonne of product by 25% since 2010. In 2016, CHF 31.6 million was assigned to water-saving programmes.

We are currently conducting 516 water-saving projects at our factories, saving 3.7 million m3 of water a year. That’s the equivalent of 1500 Olympic‑size swimming pools.

Our Water Resource Reviews (WRRs) identify key risks and opportunities, and devise action plans for more sustainable water use. In 2016, we conducted 22 new WRRs in several countries, including Cuba, the USA, Vietnam and Switzerland. We have now reviewed 158 factories worldwide since the WRRs began 10 years ago, exceeding our objective, while Nestlé Waters has completed WRRs at 100% of its facilities.

We annually update our list of high‑priority manufacturing facilities, which are sites located in areas of severe water stress or that represent a significant portion of our annual water withdrawals. In 2016, 24 factories were defined as high priority, with water saving projects implemented in 21 out of the 24.

In 2014, we became the first company to implement zero water withdrawal technology at a factory, in Jalisco, Mexico. We replicated these efforts in 2015 in Brazil, first by installing the technology at Palmeira das Missões and then incorporating the technology into the design of our Nescafé Dolce Gusto factory in Montes Claros. Four further factories in Brazil are expected to implement the zero water technology by 2018.

Our objectives towards 2020

By 2020: Implement detailed guidelines on human rights to water and sanitation due diligence in all Nestlé markets and key agricultural supply chains.

By 2020: Reduce direct water withdrawals per tonne of product in every product category to achieve an overall reduction of 35% since 2010.

By 2020: Carry out 40 new Water Resource Reviews (WRRs) in selected manufacturing facilities and all greenfield sites.

By 2020: Implement 10 new water stewardship initiatives in selected locations, with specific focus on high‑priority manufacturing facilities.

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