Nestlé Waters North America Water Management Statement

To Press Releases listApr 10, 2015

As Nestlé Waters North America continues to share our perspective on the California drought and our operations there,NWNA CEO Tim Brown recently posted an updated statement on the social media publishing site Medium.com.  On April 17, 2015, the website BottleWaters.com provided comment on this topic in its article "A Bottle of Water Does Not a Drought Make." Concerned about the impact of our operations in California? Nestlé answers your questions.

3/20/15

7:00am EST

Like all Californians, we at Nestlé Waters are deeply concerned about the state's drought and how it's affecting families, farmers, consumers and businesses. Nestlé Waters is strongly committed to responsible water management and we fully share concerns about water use and availability, especially during times of drought. 

Water efficiency, sustainability and conservation are integral values of our business. Through 2013, Nestlé reduced direct water use in every product category, achieving an overall reduction per ton of product of 33% since 2005. Nestlé's commitments to water and sustainability have been recognized by groups like Oxfam and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and highlighted at events like the United Nations Climate Week summit. 

In Sacramento, Nestlé Waters North America purchases water from the city just like any other metered business or manufacturer and has no special arrangement or contract. We pay the same rate for the water we use as all other users, at $0.9963 per 100 cubic feet, and we comply with reporting requirements for the water we use in the city of Sacramento. 

Nestlé Waters' Sacramento plant employs 55 people and produces one of the most water efficient beverages that Californians can drink. In 2014, Nestlé Waters used about 50 million gallons from the Sacramento municipal water supply to produce Nestlé Pure Life® Purified Drinking Water and for other plant operations. 

Our water use is a fraction of one per cent of total water demand within the city, which is around 30 billion gallons a year among all users. In other words, we use less than two thousandths of one per cent (0.0016%) of Sacramento's total water demand. If Nestlé Waters stopped operating in Sacramento tomorrow, there would be no appreciable difference in the amount of water available to other customers. 

Nestlé Waters adheres to all drought restrictions imposed on customers of the city and we believe safe water for human consumption is at the top of the list of valuable water uses. Nestlé has stated for years that water is a human right and that everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation. 

When all the costs are factored in, the operating profit for the global bottled water business as published in the 2014 Nestlé Annual Report is about 10%, before interest and taxes, which is in the range of other beverages. 

Most of what we bottle in California – about 80 per cent of the volume – stays in California. 

The facts are, everyone needs to stay hydrated and bottled water sourced in California is by far the healthiest and most environmentally sustainable packaged beverage choice for Californians. Bottled water has the smallest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages. Bottled water is also critical in emergencies and natural disasters, when normal water supplies are disrupted. 

Our commitment to being a responsible water steward in California can be seen through our support of watershed restoration and water education programs throughout the state, including partnering with environmental and civic groups such as the American River Parkway Foundation, the Southern California Mountains Foundation, and the Inland Empire Water Keepers, among others. 

Nestlé Waters employs 1,800 full time and seasonal employees in California. We are committed to open communication and welcome dialogue about our company's practices, our adherence to reporting requirements, and the responsible use of water in the communities in which we operate. 


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 

Q: How much water from the city does Nestlé use at its Sacramento plant? 

In 2014, Nestlé Waters North America purchased approximately 50 million gallons from the Sacramento municipal water supply to produce the Nestlé Pure Life® Purified Drinking Water and for other plant operations. 

Our water use is a fraction of one per cent of total water demand within the City, which is around 30 billion gallons a year among all users. In other words, we use less than two thousandths of one per cent (0.0016%) of Sacramento's total water demand. If Nestlé Waters stopped operating in Sacramento tomorrow, there would be no appreciable difference in the amount of water available to other customers. 

Q: Does Nestlé get the water from the city of Sacramento at a discount and sell it for a big profit? 

Our Sacramento facility is a regular customer of the City of Sacramento just like any other metered business or manufacturer, and we all pay the same rate for water, which is $0.9963 per 100 cubic feet. This is legally established by the rate resolution passed by City Council. There is no special agreement between the City and Nestlé pertaining to rates for water service. 

http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/DOU/Services-Rates/201220132014WATER.pdf  

Seventy per cent of what Americans drink comes in a package. Our bottled water provides a healthy alternative to other beverages. When all the costs are factored in, the operating profit for the global bottled water business as published in the 2014 Nestlé Annual Report is around 10%, before interest and taxes, which is in the range of other beverages. 

Q: Is the company exempt from drought restrictions imposed on customers of the city? 

No. Nestlé Waters is subject to all restrictions, drought or otherwise, imposed on all light industrial or business customers by the City of Sacramento. 

Q: Where does the water Nestlé uses for its operations come from? Where does it go? 

The bottled spring water we produce for our Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water brand at our Sacramento plant is drawn from natural spring water sources in northern California, and the bottled drinking water we produce for Nestlé Pure Life Purified Drinking Water is drawn from City municipal sources. 

The Arrowhead Mountain Spring water that we bottle at our Sacramento plant comes from the following spring sources: Lukens Spring, Placer County, CA; Sopiago Spring, El Dorado County, CA; Sugar Pine Spring, Tuolumne County, CA; Arcadia Spring, Napa County, CA. All of our spring sources are listed on our bottle labels. In addition, water quality and other information about our springs can be found on our web site at www.Nestlé-watersna.com, or on our Arrowhead® web page at www.arrowheadwater.com. These sites also contain information regarding the selection and management of our spring water sources, the quality and safety of our products and the history and heritage of Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water. Information regarding our Nestlé® Pure Life® products can be found at www.Nestlé-purelife.us/Products/PurifiedWater/FiltrationProcess

Most of what we bottle in California – about 80 per cent – stays in California. Everyone needs to stay hydrated, and when drinking bottled beverages, bottled water sourced in California is by far the healthiest and most environmentally sustainable choice for Californians. Californians consume 28% more bottled water on average than people in other major U.S. markets. Plus, all water – bottled and tap – is a far more efficient use of water than any other packaged beverage. So, when one reaches for anything other than water, they end up using more water. 

Q: What do you say to critics who claim bottled water is an unnecessary and environmentally wasteful product to produce, particularly during a drought? 

This brings up an important question "What is necessary during a drought?" We think this is an important question to ask and we believe safe water for human consumption is at the top of the list. We want to inform the public about how much water it takes to produce our bottled water and hope this encourages people to find out how much water it takes to produce other beverages they consume – like soda, juice and beer. 

Two important facts are needed to put things in perspective. First, our operations use less than two thousandths of one per cent of the total water consumed annually in Sacramento. 

Second, bottled water has the smallest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages and uses a fraction of the water needed to produce soda, juice, beer and milk, which in some cases require 2 to 8 times as much water. When consumers choose bottled water over other packaged beverages, they are not only making a healthy choice by reducing sugar, but they are using an efficient source of water. Bottled water is also critical in emergencies and natural disasters, when normal water supplies are disrupted. 

Q: What is Nestlé's Waters' position on tiered pricing for water users? 

We have no objection to tiered pricing as long as all rates are based on the volume purchased and all water users in the same tier are treated the same. Nestlé Waters complies with applicable laws governing our operations. 

Nestlé Waters believes that governments have to take the lead in establishing responsible, over-arching water policies within which companies and other water users can operate.

We are willing to participate in these processes and are committed to develop our business in a way that facilitates effective water stewardship. 

Q: Hasn't Nestlé's chairman said water is not a human right? 

Nestlé's Chairman has in fact said the opposite. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe asserts water is a human right and that everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation. He has advocated this position for years. More information about his position is available here: http://www.nestle.com/aboutus/ask-nestle/answers/nestle-chairman-peter-brabeck-letmathe-believes-water-is-a-human-right

Q: Does Nestlé report its water use in California? 

We report our water use to the appropriate governing bodies where required and comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws. In the case of our water use for the Sacramento plant, we are a customer of the city, which meters our use. 

 

Learn more about our water stewardship in California.