Water is one of the most critical resources on earth. There have been growing concerns about climate change and the impact it has on water resources around the world. Water is life – it is the backbone of our ecosystem, and the current trend of water wastage will have serious effects on our way of life. Nestlé recognises the importance of using water as efficiently as possible. We have been working with our partners to steward water resources for a sustainable future.
Nestlé has pioneered water stewardship for years, and its Water Business has been at the forefront of water preservation at every stage of its value chain. This year, they want to take a step forward in their efforts towards preserving water through business-specific commitments called the Water Pledge.
Over the years, we have seen that to tackle the environmental challenges, we have to do more than just solving the issue on our own. Water is a shared resource. Through collaboration and shared efforts, Nestlé stands a better chance to navigate through the challenges through collective action.
That is why Nestlé formally shaped up and launched their water stewardship efforts under the umbrella of the Caring for Water-Pakistan (C4W-Pakistan) initiative in 2017.
The Caring for Water – Pakistan initiative targets three focus areas – Factories, Communities, and Agriculture.
Here are some of Nestlé’s most celebrated projects under each one of the categories:
- Nestlé Pakistan has collaborated with the Agriculture Department, Government of Punjab, and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to reduce water consumption in the agriculture sector which currently stands at 90% with accompanied wastage of 50%. Through establishing lighthouses across parts of Punjab and Islamabad, Nestlé aims to encourage local farmers to take up drip irrigation. This irrigation method aims to save 40% – 60% water in comparison to conventional flood irrigation. This is a major step towards water preservation in the agricultural sector.
- Nestlé’s Smart Soil Sensors Project is another step towards using technology to reduce the wastage of water in the agriculture sector. Nestlé has developed smart soil moisture sensors that read the moisture level of the soil. These readings are stored in the cloud which is then used by farmers to efficiently water to irrigate the soil. This saves about 12%-17% water using precision technology. Through their collaboration with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and an Italian organization called Waziup, software has been developed that enables the farmers and researchers to see the soil moisture level remotely on their computer screens.
- The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is an international standard, which guides companies and organizations to manage freshwater resources by taking site and catchment initiatives through a stakeholder-inclusive process. Nestlé Pakistan’s Sheikhupura Factory became the first Pakistani site and the first Nestlé site worldwide to be awarded the AWS Certification. And in 2020, all Nestle’s sites were awarded the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certificate.
- Nestlé has also installed 6 Safe and Clean Drinking Water Facilities around its operational areas. Nestlé is maintaining these facilities with strict quality control and checks. These water facilities collectively save around 177 tons of water every day.
The ‘Nestlé Water Pledge’ is an opportunity for the company to reconfirm its position on water stewardship or C4W-Pakistan, to lay out its vision and set an ambition. The launch focuses on the Waters Business itself, but there will be more to come in the future.
All Nestlé’s initiatives are aligned with the United Nations Development Goals, SDG 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals.