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AWS Certification Key Facts

Key Facts & Figures About the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard and Certification of Nestlé Waters Factories


The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard is the first-ever comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water use across social, environmental, and economic criteria.

The AWS Standard is designed to help companies and other water users implement responsible practices that mitigate water risks (e.g., water scarcity), improve efficiency, and address shared water challenges (e.g., drought, population growth, etc.) through stakeholder engagement and collective action.

Only 9 sites in the world have achieved AWS certification, including 4 Nestlé Waters bottling facilities, making Nestlé Waters the first beverage company in the world to achieve certification.

The first 3 facilities in North America to be certified are both Nestlé Waters bottling factories located in California. The company is on track to have 6 factories certified in North America by the end of 2017, including:

  • Ontario, California
  • Sacramento, California
  • Livermore, California
  • Cabazon, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Hope, British Columbia, Canada

Taken together, aligning with the AWS Standard at the Ontario, Sacramento and Livermore factories is projected to generate a combined savings of more than 20 million gallons of water by end of 2017.

Nestlé Waters staff spent over 150 hours in each community, speaking and meeting with stakeholders in each community as part of the AWS process.

As part of the certification process for the Nestlé Waters factory in Sacramento, California, auditors looked at the plant's impact within the entire 734,000-acre South American Groundwater Subbasin. This involved meeting with the local water department, offering plant tours to increase public education, implementing tools to increase water efficiency and conservation, and partnering with community foundations on cleanups and charity events.

It took 2 auditors, 2 days at each factory to conduct the certification assessment.

During an audit, a facility is assessed across 30 Core Criteria. To obtain AWS certification, facilities are expected to, among other things:

  • Develop a holistic water conservation policy
  • Implement water-saving techniques and procedures
  • Notify local stakeholders about water conservation efforts

The AWS Standard has the unique benefit of being created and supported by a multi-stakeholder group, comprised of 69 members from business, development organizations, and environmental conservation groups, such as the CDP, The Nature Conservancy, The Pacific Institute, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).