Know the Facts about Nestlé Waters in Maine

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Claims About Nestlé Waters in Maine


Claim


Facts

Poland Spring’s operations are draining Maine’s water supply.


Poland Spring uses only a fraction of water available in a local watershed.
Annually, all of Poland Spring’s water sources combined use less than one percent of all water used in Maine. Our annual statewide withdrawal represents roughly the same amount that evaporates off Sebago Lake during a hot summer month.

Over the past 174 years, Poland Spring has proven its track record of operating sustainably. All of our spring withdrawals are permitted by state and, in many cases, local approvals that set strict limits to ensure sustainability. We manage our spring sources to strictly adhere to local, state and federal regulation and oversight by conducting ongoing monitoring and reporting to ensure that aquifer and surface waters, like wetlands, streams and rivers, are protected. We also consistently examine precipitation, aquifer water levels and stream flows to continuously evaluate conditions and regularly adjust our operations to ensure our water withdrawals are sustainable and meet all permit conditions.

Poland Spring has nothing to gain and everything to lose from depleting our shared water resources.
Simply put: it would make absolutely NO sense to deplete the natural resources on which our business relies. It would undermine the success of our business and go against every value we hold as people and as a company.

We care about Maine’s environment and its natural resources, and we manage our spring sources responsibly and for long-term sustainability.

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Facts

Nestlé Waters’ goal is to turn water from a public resource into a private one.


We do not compete with municipalities for water and we do not privatize public water supplies.
For example, where we buy water in communities like Fryeburg, Rumford, and Lincoln, we have a clause in our agreement that specifies that the local water district always has the right to reduce or suspend the sale of water to Poland Spring to ensure safe and adequate service to its other customers, or to meet regulatory requirements. Moreover, wherever Poland Spring operates, withdrawals are metered to ensure the sustainability of our operations so that we are not taking more than our fair share. We also provide data about the health of the aquifers to town and state officials where it is made publicly available.

Bottled water cannot, and will not, replace tap water – and we never expect it to.
However, bottled water does play an important role in helping Americans stay hydrated at a time when more and more beverages are consumed away from home, and in times of natural disaster or other emergencies. We frequently supply water to local municipalities and first responders when tap water may be unavailable for drinking.

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Facts

Poland Spring pays next to nothing to take water from Maine.


We are proud to be one of Maine’s largest employers and provide millions of dollars of economic value to the state.

Poland Spring either purchases spring water from a local water district at rates approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC), or we purchase land and develop the resource – much like someone would do if they purchased a wood lot to harvest trees, or a farm field to harvest blueberries. In addition, where we own land, we pay local property taxes, just like any other property owner. There is also the cost of doing business here in Maine to consider (e.g. transportation costs, infrastructure investments, salaries).

According to an economic impact study conducted by Maine economist Dr. Charles Lawton, Poland Spring’s total economic impact on the state of Maine in 2016 amounted to more than $390 million in sales for Maine companies, supporting the equivalent of more than 2,300 full-time jobs with income totaling nearly $120 million.

Our commitment to Maine runs deeper than just bringing economic value.
Beyond these economic benefits, Poland Spring contributes annually to many community organizations across the state of Maine, and provides water donations both locally and across the country in times of need. In 2017 alone, Poland Spring contributed more than $487,000 to community organizations around Maine and donated thousands of cases of water. Bottled water cannot, and will not, replace tap water – and we never expect it to.

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Facts

Poland Spring is part of Nestlé, a Swiss company, and is not part of the Maine community.


Poland Spring has been operating in Maine for more than 174 years, which means our employees don’t just work with the local community, they ARE the local community.
Poland Spring, like any company, is made up of people. Here in Maine, we employ nearly 900 people who care about the environment and the well-being of their local communities, just like you do. They are good people who live, work and raise their families in the same communities where we operate, and for that reason, they are just as passionate about protecting their neighbors and the natural resources of the area.

We are committed to local causes and organizations, and support them regularly.
We support many community organizations in Maine through donations of water, food, supplies and money. And many of our employees volunteer in the cities and towns where they live and work to support many meaningful community projects.

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Facts

The number of jobs Poland Spring creates in Maine is small considering their parent company, Nestlé, is a multi-billion-dollar company.


We create good quality jobs for Mainers where they are needed most.
We are proud of the good paying jobs we create in Maine, and we know our investment and commitment is extremely important to the individuals, families and companies we support. Most of our jobs are in rural Maine, where they are needed most. We are the fifth largest manufacturer in the state of Maine, providing nearly 900 good-paying jobs with benefits. In fact, the average salary and benefits package for a full-time Poland Spring employee is nearly $54,000, which exceeds the state all-industry average wage of $41,000, and is in line with the state all-manufacturing average wage of $53,700.

Our company is also exploring options to build a fourth bottling facility in Maine, so we know we’ll continue having an important impact for years to come.

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Facts

Based on the video being circulated online from their CEO, Nestlé and Poland Spring do not believe that water is a human right.


We absolutely, unequivocally believe that water is a human right.

Safe, clean drinking water is essential to human life, and we believe that access to it is a fundamental human right. Everyone should have consistent access to quality water to meet daily hydration, cooking and hygiene needs.

The online video claiming otherwise is 14 years old and depicts someone who is no longer Nestlé’s CEO. Critics use a video interview that Nestlé’s former Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe gave in 2005 –14 years ago – to claim that he thinks all water sources should be privatized. This is simply false.

That video was edited by critics to be intentionally misleading in order to advance a false narrative about the company. Mr. Brabeck’s comments were taken out of context and engineered by critics to create an inaccurate soundbite that would scare and anger viewers.

Nestlé’s current chairman has affirmed that the company believes access to water is a human right.
Just last year, Nestlé’s current Chairman of the Board, Paul Bulcke, publicly stated: “At Nestlé, we unequivocally believe that access to water is a basic human right. Everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation.”

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Facts

Poland Spring isn’t doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint, which is hurting Maine’s environment.


We work hard to ensure our products are made in a caring and responsible way that preserves the environment for generations to come.
Over the past 15 years, Poland Spring has reduced the amount of PET plastic content in our half-liter bottles by 60 percent.

Our bottling facilities achieve more than a 98 percent recycling rate. All of our single-serve bottles, from the 8 ounce to the 2.5 gallon sizes, are 100 percent recyclable. Our 3-gallon and 5-gallon bottles are returned to us, washed, sanitized and refilled by us 20 times before they too are recycled.

Our newer bottling facilities in Maine have been built to achieve LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The Hollis warehouse expansion earned LEED Silver certification, and our newest facility in Kingfield, built in 2009, earned LEED Gold certification.

We’ve reduced road miles by over 1 million miles by using alternative modes of transportation
As part of Poland Spring’s commitment to environmental leadership, in some instances, we are using alternative modes of transportation for getting Poland Spring water to our major markets on the East Coast more efficiently. Since 2016, we have shipped some of our Poland Spring products by rail rather than on trucks, reducing road miles by over 1 million miles.

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Facts

Bottled water isn’t regulated.


Bottled water is regulated quite rigorously.
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for bottled water are equally as strict as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations for tap water, if not stricter.

We test our water up to 60 times more often than most municipal water.
The way we see it, higher standards mean cleaner water and fresher taste. Therefore, we test each bottling line 250 times annually

Claim


Facts

Poland Spring falsely advertises that its product is 100 percent spring water.


Poland Spring consistently meets or exceeds the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) stringent national standards for what qualifies as spring water.
Consumers can be confident in the accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring, and that Poland Spring Natural Spring Water is just what it says it is – 100 percent natural spring water – a fact that was verified August 28, 2017, by the Maine Drinking Water Program, the state agency that enforces the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rules for bottled water in the state.

The FDA defines spring water as "water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth." The FDA sets stringent national standards for what qualifies as "spring water" – standards that Poland Spring consistently meets or exceeds.

We work hard to ensure the quality and integrity of our spring water products earn our consumers’ trust and uphold the over 170-year history of the Poland Spring brand.

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Facts

Poland Spring is often in the news due to local trucking accidents; the company does little to ensure the safe transportation of its products to market.


As a company, safety is important to us. We work to ensure the safety, courtesy and professionalism of all drivers who transport water for Poland Spring
We set rigorous standards for all third-party carriers, including compliance with local traffic laws, safe operations and respect for the communities where we operate.

In the Town of Hollis, for example, where Poland Spring operates the largest Nestlé Waters bottling facility in North America, we work closely with Hollis residents, Hollis public officials, and the Maine Department of Transportation to address truck traffic concerns in that community. Over the past three years, our company has taken several positive steps to enhance traffic management and improve communication with our third-party trucking companies about approved truck corridors and the consequences of noncompliance.

We are always exploring new ways to enhance the safety of our operations and improve efficiencies. In addition, we always encourage the public to contact us with any concerns or questions regarding trucking management. Please reach out to us at info@polandspring.com.