Nestlé Waters’ Livermore and Sacramento factories earn rigorous water stewardship certification

By on October 29, 2017

As part of its commitment to certifying 20 bottling sites worldwide as sustainability leaders by 2020, Nestlé Waters’ North America announced this week that its Livermore and Sacramento factories have received certification for meeting the rigorous Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. The two facilities are the second and third sites in California to earn this certification; Nestlé Waters’ Ontario factory in southern California was the first.

The AWS certification was created by industry leaders and prominent environmental conservation groups including The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The AWS Standard is the first comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. Similar to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system, the AWS Standard sets global guidelines for efficient, collaborative and transparent water stewardship methods, from the source, to the plant, to the consumer. LEED was designed in 1993 by the U.S. Green Building Council as an ecology-oriented building certification program to measure environmental design, construction, and maintenance standards in buildings.

“Aligning to the AWS Standard puts Nestlé Waters at the vanguard of a new movement for water stewardship and conservation worldwide,” said Nelson Switzer, chief sustainability officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “We take our responsibility as a water steward seriously. By achieving and maintaining AWS certification at these sites, we will continue to be at the forefront of the best water resource management practices around the world.”

Nestlé Waters North America has committed to implementing the AWS standard at all five of its California water-bottling facilities by the end of 2017. Nine facilities that have been certified to the AWS standard worldwide –four are Nestlé Waters’ sites, including the three in California. Nestlé Waters has called upon others in the bottled water industry to also adopt and earn the AWS sustainability standard.

“We are excited that three facilities have now achieved AWS certification in North America, and hope that this milestone encourages more companies to adopt collaborative and transparent water use practices,” said Matt Howard, director for AWS North America. “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 alignment with the AWS standard at the three California factories is anticipated to generate a combined savings of more than 20 million gallons of water by year’s end for Nestlé Waters. The AWS Standard encourages a variety of conservation techniques including reverse osmosis, better filtering and reuse of wastewater, advanced water mapping to more carefully manage the flow of water in and out of the plants as well as xeriscaping to reduce supplemental irrigation on the factories’ grounds.

Water challenges throughout California, in large part due to the most recent five-year drought, prompted Nestlé Waters to select California as the first location for AWS certification. In order to certify the California locations for the sustainability standard, AWS auditors examined specific factors including water quality, groundwater basins where the plants are located, the availability of existing water source and the health of water-related areas, such as marshes, in each region.

“Central California has certainly experienced its share of severe water challenges over the past decade,” said Sacramento Factory Manager Shawn Edmondson. “Being a good water steward is essential to our business, and maintaining AWS certification through ongoing water efficiency efforts and community engagement will continue to be our objective.”

Livermore Factory Manager Mike Parnisi said, “We’re very proud of this achievement, and look at it as an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to water stewardship. Working closely with the community, improving the efficiency of our operations, and responsibly managing our local water resources is just part of our daily practice.”

Nestlé Waters has undertaken a number of community-based water conservation measures in California in addition to earning the AWS standard at its three California facilities. Recently Nestlé Waters partnered with the Cucamonga Valley Water District to construct a groundwater treatment project expected to restore an additional 250 million gallons of clean drinking water annually to the local water supply.