From source to bottle, Nestlé Waters North America strives to provide high-quality, healthful hydration while reducing our environmental footprint. The sustainability of natural resources is paramount to the success of our company, and we conduct our operations in a manner that is mindful of the environment – on Earth Day and every day.
Bottled water packaging makes up less than one percent of overall solid waste, but much more needs to be done to make recycling more accessible. We are working with state governments and recycling stakeholders to improve programs that make it easier for consumers to recycle all types of plastic containers. Our goal is to recover and recycle 60% of PET beverage bottles by 2018.
We are working to increase recycling rates through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful® (KAB). In celebration of Earth Day this year, our Nestlé® Pure Life® brand is sponsoring a KAB cleanup event in New York City, and also awarding a total of $25,000 for distribution to the top 25 KAB affiliates that collect the most PET bottles per capita during 2010 cleanup events.
In May 2009, we teamed up with KAB to provide $10,000 "Recycle On The Go" grants to 12 KAB affiliates to encourage and empower local communities to make away-from-home recycling more convenient.
Water Source Selection and Management
When it comes to our spring sources, we strive to harvest only what can be naturally replenished. We also maintain over 14,000 acres of land in conservancy around our spring sources which provide watershed protection, habitat and open space.
Bottled water, like all packaged beverages, has an environmental footprint and we are taking steps to reduce that impact. For example, we produce 98% of our bottles in our own plants, greatly reducing the transport of empty bottles. Our regional approach to distribution reduces shipping distances, truck miles, emissions and fuel use. We lead the industry in green building design and construction, with nine LEED-certified plants across the country.
Our recent Life Cycle Analysis revealed Nestlé Waters’ bottled water products packaged in Eco-Shape® half-liter bottles as one of the most environmentally responsible packaged drink choices because the bottles contain an average of 30% less plastic than comparable size carbonated and non-carbonated beverages. Over the past 15 years, we’ve reduced the amount of PET plastic in our bottles by 60%, which helped us avoid using more than 260 million pounds of plastic. We estimate that since its introduction in 2007, through the end of 2009, our first-generation Eco-Shape bottle saved more than 195 million pounds of plastic and helped avoid more than 356,000 tons of carbon emission equivalents. Our re-source™ brand bottled water, launched in 2009, is packaged in bottles made with 25% recycled plastic.