Globally, the combination of population growth, increasing affluence and lifestyle patterns are outstripping the planet’s ability to bear the effects of human activity. We believe that we are facing a serious water crisis in the coming years that will have serious consequences for food security. The food chain, from agriculture to manufacturing and consumption, contributes significantly to water quality and availability, climate change, energy use, biodiversity and soil quality, and air quality – at the same time, it is heavily dependent upon all of these environmental resources. As an example, the availability and accessibility of fresh water already affects our business, and we also expect to see the consequences of climate change on our operations over the next decades.
Our ambition is to produce tasty and nutritious food and beverages that also have the lowest environmental footprint, so we strive to continuously improve our operational efficiency and environmental performance. We apply a life cycle approach to assess the impacts of our own operations and those associated with the wider value chain, thereby contributing to a better future and Creating Shared Value to both Nestlé and society.
We invested over CHF 175 million in environmental sustainability programmes and initiatives during 2010. We continue to identify and implement projects to reduce our use of water, non-renewable energy and other natural resources, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), to eliminate waste and to improve the environmental performance of our packaging. We also work alongside our suppliers to promote more sustainable practices in our supply chain, including the promotion of water stewardship. In 2010, we carried out pilot Biodiversity Assessments in our Nestlé Waters Plant in Viladrau, Spain, which is located in a naturally protected environment as well as our confectionery plant in Fawdon, UK. With this action, we were among the first companies in Europe that engaged in such assessments on their premises.
We continued to make improvements in our water consumption and CO2 emissions performance through reduced energy consumption following operational energy efficiency measures and a move towards renewable energy sources. More waste is being diverted from landfill and incinerators without energy recovery. Two additional manufacturing sites, in the UK, managed to find alternative uses for manufacturing by-products, thus diverting them from disposal to landfill or incineration without energy recovery. A continued focus on packaging weight reduction remains a priority.
- Value for Nestlé: Continuously improving environmental performance; productive factories; reduced risks; reduced costs; long-term availability of raw materials and water; sustainable, profitable growth
- Value for society: Raising of environmental standards; higher incomes; better standards of living; improved food security
To create value for our shareholders and our company, we must create value for people in the countries where we are present. This includes the farmers who supply us, the employees who work for us, our consumers and the communities where we work.
The following stories and case studies of Nestlé’s efforts in the areas of “Water” provide an interactive view of what the concept of shared value looks like in action.