Nestlé Waters North America announced today that its Ontario, California, factory received certification for meeting 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.
Conformance with the AWS Standard was audited by SCS Global Services, an international third-party certification body.
Nestlé Waters North America is committed to implementing the stewardship Standard at its five water-bottling facilities in California by the end of 2017. California was selected as the first location for AWS certification because of the shared water challenges in the state, including the recent multi-year drought. The AWS Standard covers a wide variety of watershed issues, including the sustainable water balance, water quality, and shared water challenges within the region where a facility is located.
“The AWS Standard is designed to guide water-using sites toward four outcomes: good water governance, sustainable water balance, good water quality, and healthy status of important water-related areas. The conformity of sites implementing the Standard is verified by credible third-party auditors prior to certification,” said Matt Howard, Director for AWS North America. “We are excited about what will be the first of many AWS certificates issued in North America, as more companies adopt collaborative and transparent water use practices. For every facility that meets the core criteria of the Standard, we move a step closer to the goal of global, sustainable freshwater use that is socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.”
“The AWS Standard aligns with our longstanding commitment to sustainable water management and creating shared value in the communities in which we operate,” said Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “We take our responsibility as a water steward seriously, and understand how important it is to have a rigorous standard with which to measure our water resource management practices and sustainability efforts. Achieving and maintaining AWS certification will help us continue leading water stewardship practices through efficiency, water resource management and community engagement.”
Launched in 2009, the Alliance for Water Stewardship is a nongovernmental 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.
Nestlé Waters’ Ontario facility is the first AWS-certified site of any kind in North America. Nestlé Waters is also pursuing implementation and certification of the AWS Standard at several of its other North American facilities.
In addition to committing to implement the AWS Standard in its five California bottled water factories, Nestlé Waters has initiated water conservation measures at facilities throughout the state. The company has introduced technologies to recycle water for cooling and other uses projected to save 67 million gallons of water per year across the five bottling plants in California. Nestlé Waters has also partnered with the Cucamonga Valley Water District in San Bernardino County to construct a groundwater treatment project expected to restore an additional 250 million gallons of available clean drinking water each year to the local water supply.