Nestlé and the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) have called on companies in the Middle East and North Africa to adopt the AWS Standard in order to accelerate responsible water use, positively impact local communities, and ensure watershed sustainability by joining forces to address water challenges. Nestlé has already AWS-certified 28 of its water factories around the world, including three in the region and has committed to certifying all of its water factories globally by 2025. Nestlé Waters has also committed to replenishing 100% of the water it uses by the same year.
The call was launched at a virtual Water Stewardship Leaders’ Forum held under Nestlé’s Caring for Water initiative and organized in collaboration with the Emirates Environmental Group, which brought together more than 100 participants from the private and public sectors, academia, and Non-Government Organizations; and featured a diverse and distinguished lineup of speakers from various international organizations.
“As the first company in the Middle East and North Africa to achieve AWS certification at three of our bottling sites, we are proud to be water stewardship pioneers in the region,” said Carlo Galli, Water Resources Director, Nestlé. “The AWS Standard guides us in our engagement with other water users outside our factories to understand shared challenges and identify collective solutions, which is why we are committed to certifying all of our 17 water factories in the Middle East and North Africa by 2025, with our factories in the United Arab Emirates and Algeria slated for certification by 2021.”
The Forum also introduced the Water Stewardship Core Group, a platform for collaboration among stakeholders in the region. Established by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation, the Group aims to build stronger understanding of local and regional water challenges and develop meaningful collective actions to address them.
“Water is a precious and shared resource,” said Adrian Sym, Alliance for Water Stewardship Chief Executive Officer. “Good water stewardship needs leadership that recognizes the importance of transparent, inclusive processes in delivering better outcomes that benefit all who depend on our water resources.”
By adopting the AWS standard, Nestlé has been able to advance water-saving measures, track stewardship efforts, and better coordinate with other stakeholders in order to help promote watershed sustainability.
Caring for Water at Nestlé is done across four key areas: in factories where the company continuously improves water use efficiency, in watersheds where it works with partners to protect shared water resources, across its agricultural supply chains where it helps stakeholders improve water management practices, and in communities where it operates to provide access to clean water and sanitation.
Examples from the region include achieving 42% reduction in water withdrawal per ton of product manufactured across the company’s food factories since 2010; leading the drive for multisectoral partnership to help Lebanon’s Shouf Biosphere Reserve successfully enhance the recharge of groundwater reservoirs; a project to irrigate organic agriculture with excess water in Jordan; supporting a village’s vision to be ‘hepatitis C free’ through health programs benefiting more than 3,000 people in Egypt; and constructing a water fountain near its water factory in Algeria to provide access to clean water.
Overall, Nestlé has collaborated with local authorities to provide access to water hygiene and sanitation services to more than 30,000 people in the Middle East and North Africa.
About the Alliance for Water Stewardship:
Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) ignites and nurtures global and local leadership in credible water stewardship that recognizes and secures the social, cultural, environmental and economic value of freshwater. AWS is a global network dedicated to advancing and deepening the impact of credible water stewardship. Through our collaborative work we inspire water users and managers to be responsible stewards of our freshwater resources.
About Nestlé Middle East and North Africa (MENA):
Nestlé’s heritage in the Middle East and North Africa goes back over 100 years with the sale of the first Infant Cereals in Egypt. Today, Nestlé operates 25 Food & Beverage factories across the 19 countries of the MENA region, and provides direct employment to more than 15,000 people who are all committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé MENA also provides indirect employment across the region to several thousand more.
The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: Dairy, Infant Nutrition, Coffee and Creamers, Confectionery, Bottled Water, Breakfast Cereals, Culinary products, Health Science, and Pet Care, among others. Nestlé NIDO, Nestlé CERELAC, Nestlé NAN, S-26, PROGRESS, NESCAFÉ, NESPRESSO, Bonjorno Café, Coffee-mate, KitKat, MAGGI, Nestlé FITNESS, Nestlé Grain d’Or, Nestlé Pure Life, OPTIFAST, and PURINA Friskies are just some of the brands available in the Middle East and North Africa.