We take great care to operate in a responsible way at all of our sites, to preserve and protect water sources and the surrounding environment. We evaluate groundwater levels, surface water levels, precipitation patterns and aquatic indicators and conduct ecological surveys. This has ensured that, for over 15 years, our operations in Michigan have been appropriately managed for long-term sustainability. Ecological surveys conducted over a period of 15 years demonstrate that the environments in Michigan where we operate remain unchanged.
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Helping Our Neighbors in Flint
NWNA Michigan employees preparing Flint, MI donation of Ice Mountain® Brand Spring Water.
As a responsible company with personal ties to the community, we share the deep concern about the health and safety of the families in Flint. Nestlé Waters North America is the parent company of Ice Mountain® Brand Spring Water, which employs 275 employees in Michigan. During this difficult time of water supply disruption, we've decided to step in and help the community the best way we know how.
That's why we joined Walmart and other beverage companies to donate 6.5 million bottles of water to Flint public schools, and another 70,000 bottles to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, which works with 75 partners in the city. These two donations built upon the 190,000 bottles of water we've donated since October 2016.
Looking Toward the Future
Nestlé Waters North America continues to stay engaged in helping the Flint community. We're committed to find other ways we can positively impact in the daily lives of Flint residents.
Other Efforts in Michigan
Our contribution to Michigan runs deeper than our recent efforts – it's something that Nestlé Waters North America has been committed to for years. Throughout the state, we collaborate with organizations dedicated to helping people of Michigan.
Acting as Good Water Stewards
We also work with Project WET to provide funding to the Annis Water Research Institute at Grand Valley State University to coordinate an annual water festival each year in Mecosta. The event is focused on giving the opportunity to approximately 200 to 300 local third graders to learn all about water.
Keeping Waterways Clean
For the past few years volunteers from Ice Mountain and the City of Evart have spent the morning on the Muskegon River removing debris from approximately 10 miles of the river. After the cleanup, Ice Mountain hosts a lunch for all the volunteers at a local park. Plans are already in motion for making this an annual event.
Since 2010, our employees have also kept two sections of highway clean (M-20 and US-10) as part of the State of Michigan's "Adopt-A-Highway" initiative. These measures remove trash from the roadside, reducing the risk that debris will ends up in Michigan waterways.
Muskegon River watershed cleanup event.
We've established partnerships in Michigan to encourage communities to improve and take pride in their local waterways. For example, our employees worked with the Town of Evart and J&J Canoe to hold three cleanup events in 2013 and 2015 in the Muskegon River watershed. At Nestlé Waters North America, we call this Creating Shared Value. It's the idea that our company and the community are dependent on one another.
We’re committed to helping meet the immediate need for clean, safe water to the residents of Flint, and will continue looking for other ways to help the people of Michigan.
Our Investment in Osceola Township
What is Nestlé Waters North America seeking to do in Osceola Township, Michigan?
We have applied to the state for an increase in water production from a source we operate in Osceola Township. It’s called the White Pine Springs well, and it has been operating sustainably since 2009.
Your operations are only 120 miles from Flint, Michigan. How can you justify taking more water out of the ground when the community in Flint is still in need?
Nestlé Waters North America shares ongoing concerns about the health and safety of the people of the community of Flint, Michigan. We have never drawn water from the local watershed on which Flint relies. We withdraw water from four groundwater sources located within the Muskegon River watershed. In January 2016, Nestlé Waters joined Walmart, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo to support the Flint community through donations, education and online services. Together, we donated enough water to meet the daily needs of over 10,000 schoolchildren for the balance of the calendar year. That translates to 176 truckloads, or up to 6.5 million bottles of water, to help with relief efforts for those affected by the water crisis in Flint.
How much does NWNA pay for water?
We have multiple diverse water sources and we always pay the required rates and fees set by each appropriate authority.
What are you doing to benefit the community?
We support local economies where we operate through our strong tax base, local job creation inside and outside our factories, as well as supporting many important contracted jobs in the local area. We currently have some 50 employees who work in the surrounding area and we employ local contractors, such as landscaping, excavating, and truck drivers to name a few.
We are very committed to our strong community engagement programs where we give back to the communities we live, work and operate in. This includes efforts such as financial support for programs and events and bottled water donations for first responders. We are particularly proud of our support for watershed stewardship – from river and road clean ups to recycling programs, to much larger watershed initiatives.
What price should water users pay?
Wherever we operate, we always do so in accordance with local regulations and the conditions of water licenses provided by local authorities, including the price for sourcing water. We support balanced water pricing schemes that share the costs of managing water resources equitably among all water users. We believe that the equitable sharing of these costs should always support robust water policies that provide high quality water and sanitation services to all, while ensuring the sustainable management of water resources.
Learn more about our operations in Osceola Township.