Nestlé Waters North America announced today that its Allentown, Pennsylvania factories received certification under the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. Created and supported by prominent environmental conservation groups, development organizations, and industry leaders, the AWS Standard is the first comprehensive global benchmark for responsible water stewardship across social, environmental, and economic criteria. This achievement was confirmed through audits conducted by SCS Global Services (SCS), a leading international third-party certification body, and sole certifier to the AWS standard in North America.
Nestlé Waters has committed to implementing the AWS Standard at all of its factories around the world by 2025. With the Allentown AWS certification, the company has so far certified 11 Nestlé Waters factories, including seven in North America.
AWS provides a platform for organizations to identify shared water challenges within the watershed where their facilities are located. Facilities demonstrate conformance to the AWS Standard under four key categories:
- Good Water Governance
- Sustainable Water Balance
- Good Water Quality Status
- Healthy Status of Important Water-Related Areas
"Water is a shared resource, and the AWS Standard has given us a common language and approach to work with others to address these issues that impact all of us as water users," said Mike Franceschetti, Allentown Factory Manager. "The AWS process has helped us better understand how we are using water inside our factory and has given us a greater appreciation for the positive impact we can have outside of our four walls, by more effectively working together with the local community."
A number of initiatives implemented at the Allentown factories – including reusing wastewater in cooling towers, production line optimization, improved leak detection, and filling loss reduction initiatives – are projected to result in 16.6 MM gallons of water saved annually.
"AWS certification enables Nestlé Waters to provide added assurance to its customers that they are obtaining water from a highly responsible source," said Stanley Mathuram, SCS Vice President. "Our comprehensive, year-long assessment of the Allentown facilities included an on-site audit, a thorough review of operations and the watershed, and vigorous stakeholder engagement. SCS congratulates Nestlé Waters on achieving this latest certification and championing the cause of water stewardship to protect our precious fresh water resources."
As part of the AWS process, auditors conducted one-on-one interviews with local stakeholders to understand their working relationship with Nestlé Waters, as well as to gauge their understanding of key water stewardship concepts, and how their engagement with the company has affected this understanding.
"Nestlé Waters has been an environmental education partner for more than a decade, and we are excited to learn that the Allentown factories have been recognized for their water stewardship and conservation practices by achieving certification through the Alliance for Water Stewardship," said Chris Kocher, president of Wildlands Conservancy.
Nestlé Waters is committed to sponsoring and volunteering at community programs that encourage and increase awareness of water quality and water conservation. Educational programs such as ProjectWET and Trout in the Classroom benefit more than 2,800 local students every year and help build an appreciation for water resources.
Launched in 2009, AWS is a non-governmental organization founded by leading organizations representing social and environmental interests including The Nature Conservancy, Pacific Institute, Water Stewardship Australia, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Since that time, Nestlé Waters has joined dozens of other companies, government agencies, NGOs, and educational institutions as a member of AWS to promote best practices in water stewardship.