On the occasion of United Nation’s World Water Day, celebrated every year on 22 March, Nestlé Central and West Africa underlines the critical place that water stewardship plays for all of us and for the future of its business.
The company is making every effort to reduce water in its own operations and advocate for inclusion of a specific goal on water in the post-2015 development agenda.
It respects the human right to water and sanitation, and is helping increase their access for its employees and communities where it operates. The company also actively promotes healthy hydration.
These actions are part of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé’s approach to business. It is based on the firm belief that for a company to prosper over the long term, it must create value not only for its shareholders, but also for the communities where it operates.
Water is Health
Through Nestlé’s partnership with theInternational Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),196 546 people from 132 villages and 81 schools have benefitted from water,sanitation or hygiene projects around the company’s cocoa sourcing communitiesin Côte d’Ivoire. In 2014, it announced the renewal of its partnership withIFRC for the next five years and its extension to Ghana.
The company also helps school-age children understand the importance ofhydration through programmes, such as Project WET (Water Education forTeachers) and Nestlé Healthy Kids in Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon
Water is Nature
Nestlé aims to ensure that its factories treat the water it discharges effectively, returning clean water to the surrounding environment. As such, it invests in treatment facilities, when municipal facilities do not exist. Last year, its Tema factory in Ghana invested 1.1million CHF in Reverse Osmosis and Ultrafiltration, a technology that will further improve waste water quality.
This will allow the factory to use at least 30% of its treated waste water in cooling tower operations and to irrigate its lawns.
The company continually works to reduce the direct use of water in its facilities.
At the Flowergate factory (Nigeria), water consumption per ton of product was reduced by 36.37% in 2014, compared to 2013.Better reporting of leakages on-site and improved monitoring of water consumption helped achieve this.
Water is Energy
Nestlé heavilyinvests in its factories across the region to meet an increased demand forproducts while improving environmental performance. In 2013, it upgraded itsAgbara factory (Nigeria) waste water treatment facility to improve effluentquality.
Water is equality
One of the new features in the plant is a surface aeration system withan oxygen control, which helps to reduce electricity usage.
Nestlé respects the human right to water and sanitation. In 2014, it completed a Water Resources Review at its Douala factory in Cameroon where access to water, sanitation and hygiene were assessed for more than 500 employees, vendors and visitors to the site.
Communities surrounding our Douala and Agbara factories benefit from free access to water fountains on site during set hours, resulting in around 15 000 litres of water being collected by local residents every day.