Chief Sustainability Officer Nelson Switzer, who helped lead the charge in developing this new Siting Framework, provides insights below on what this framework entails and why it is crucial for our operations.
To address the environmental and community concerns over the sustainability of water and the impact of sourcing water on a local community, we have enhanced our Siting Framework; which is a process that outlines how we work with local communities to identify and develop spring water sources.
Put simply, we listened, we learned and we adapted. The Siting Framework is not a new concept for us; this new framework is simply an enhanced and better version based on past experiences, conversations with stakeholders and a shift in focus. Our siting process for so long has been focused on our science to understand each source, its sustainability and natural limits. However, in this science-oriented approach to water stewardship, we sometimes overlooked the issues facing the communities in which we operate and seek to operate. The new framework brings that community element to the forefront.
The new Siting Framework outlines the steps of our siting process. It is founded on four guiding principles:
- What is the Siting Framework?
- How did this Siting Framework come together?
- What does the Siting Framework include?
Community First: Understanding the needs of the community members to lay the foundation for open and transparent dialogue so we can identify mutually beneficial opportunities.
Stakeholder Engagement: Keeping the lines of communications open at all times. We want communities to know that we are here to listen, share and solve challenges together.
Rigorous Technical Standards: Practicing excellent, science-based water resource management for spring sources.
Commitment to Water Stewardship: Achieving Water Stewardship by managing our operations in a way that is environmentally sustainable, helps ensure the well-being of people and contributes to long-term prosperity for local communities.
Next, we put the framework to use. We are now utilizing this Siting Framework to guide how we approach our siting process.
Lastly, a very significant ‘next step’ is to listen for feedback and understand what we can do to enhance it further.