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Nestle Waters N.A. Meets Goals on Packaging, LEED, Miles Traveled

Nestlé Waters North America has met 20 of the 28 corporate citizenship goals it established in 2008, and is on track to achieve the remaining eight by the original target dates, the company said in a report out today.

In its 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report, Nestlé Waters N.A. also set out 17 new targets. All the 2008 and 2010 targets fall into three categories: water, sustainability and community.

The company, which sells 15 brands of bottled water including Perrier, Deer Park and Poland Spring, said that it has already met one goal to develop and market a bottle that incorporates up to 25 percent recycled PET by 2013, and another to develop a bottle made from 100 percent recycled or renewable material by 2020.

By lightweighting its half-liter and other size bottles, Nestlé Waters N.A. achieved a nearly 19 percent decrease in total volume of packaging materials used between 2007 and 2009 (see chart).

In addition, Nestlé Waters N.A. has met its goals to achieve LEED certification for all newly constructed plants, to provide full-source labeling for all its bottled water brands, and to introduce hybrid delivery vehicles, with 14 now in the fleet.

Since 2008 the firm has reduced water miles for its home and office delivery (HOD) fleet by more than three million miles, far surpassing the target of an 825,000 mile reduction by 2010.

Nestlé Waters said it introduced 32 hydrogen fuel cell forklifts, meeting another goal, but has chosen not to expand the program because the technology does not provide enough power or output to keep up with its business needs. “We will continue to research new advancements in this area and consider upgrading when the technology is more advanced,” the company said.

The company counted as met its goal of ISO 14001 certification for all manufacturing plants by 2010, although certification of its newly acquired Sacramento facility is still underway.

Some of the remaining goals from the 2008 report include:

  • Reduce carbon intensity by 20 percent across full value chain by 2013
  • Introduce a zero-emissions HOD and service center delivery vehicle by 2015; upgrade 25 percent of these vehicles to zero emissions by 2020
  • Reduce HOD fleet particulate matter emissions by 36 percent and nitrous oxide emissions by 40 percent by 2013
  • Reduce plastic in half-liter bottles by an additional 15 percent and reduce plastic in all other PET bottles by 20 percent combined weight by 2010
  • Advance goal of 60 percent recycling rate for PET beverage bottles by 2018
  • Convert remainder of virgin PET bottles to antimony-free resin by 2011
  • Refine process for managing and monitoring spring sites/make publicly available by 2011

Some of the new goals set in the 2010 report include:

  • Optimize water use ratios by product type over 2009 levels
  • Enhance water stewardship practices by partnering with local communities and stakeholders to support up to two watershed improvement projects per year (2011-2015)
  • Complete a comprehensive assessment of materials and packaging footprint by 2011, and use findings to make future waste reductions and promote second-life use
  • By 2015, recycle 97 percent of the solid waste generated in administrative offices, direct delivery branches, and plant facilities
  • Continue to advocate for federal standards on public disclosure of source, quality, and process reporting for bottled water (2011)

“In developing our principles and future goals and targets, we focused on areas that are of greatest importance to our stakeholders, and we use our report as an opportunity to engage with – and learn from – our neighbors, colleagues, critics and customers,” said Nestlé Waters N.A.’s director of sustainability, Michael Washburn, who was hired just last month.

Nestlé Waters engaged William McDonough, co-founder of the Cradle to Cradle framework, to help refine and articulate the report’s approach to sustainability.

The company timed the report’s release to coincide with the United Nations’ World Water Day. More than 10,000 students in 24 countries will participate today in water education activities sponsored by Nestlé Waters.

The company plans to publish a new report every two years to provide updates on progress. The 2012 report will be available in early 2013.

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One thought on “Nestle Waters N.A. Meets Goals on Packaging, LEED, Miles Traveled

  1. I mentioned this in response to the February Nestle Water EL article:

    “In first world countries like those in North America, tap water is readily available and safe to drink practically everywhere. There is no societal need for bottled water, outside of disaster situations or other niches. Bottled water superiority is a marketing myth. …
    It can cost up to 8,000 times as much energy to bottle and distribute the water than the energy needed to produce your own readily available tap water.”

    Nestle’s sustainability efforts are indeed better than nothing at all, and they are to be commended for at least considering the issues. But Nestle is still involved in an industry (bottled water) that has inordinately severe environmental consequences, in relation to the value added to society at large.

    In addition, bottled water is vastly more expensive to the consumer than tap water. And by purchasing and using both a tap filter and reusable water bottles, people can enjoy healthful, good tasting water that is conveniently at hand no matter where they may go. And so I asked people to reconsider their own consumption habits:

    “Stop contributing to the enormous waste of energy, and the enormous problem of bottle disposal, that is represented by bottled water consumption. It adds nothing to one’s quality of life, it costs the consumer plenty in wasted expense, and it costs the environment significant and lasting harm via both CO2 and plastic waste release.”

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