Promoting water stewardship at Nestlé’s Douala factory


Impact Area

  • Communities
  • Community engagement
  • Compliance
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Gender balance & diversity
  • Individuals & Families
  • Nutrition
  • Planet
  • Rural development
  • Water
Aug 17, 2015, updated August 2015

Our commitment to advocate for effective water policies and stewardship aims to promote water policy and management that will aid in the sustainable use of water by industry and others, both globally and locally.

As part of this commitment, Nestlé supports the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to achieve 50 signatories for the WASH Pledge.

Programme description

The business sector operates across a wide value chain, and it is uniquely positioned to both respect and promote the need for safe water and adequate sanitation. 

Members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have developed a public pledge where participating companies agree to deliver access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all employees working in premises under direct company control within a three-year period.

In 2014, we completed a Water Resources Review (WRR) at our Douala factory in Cameroon where we produce Maggi soup bases.

We used the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s WASH self-assessment tool to examine access to water, sanitation and hygiene for more than 500 employees, vendors and visitors to the site.

The factory satisfactorily met the Pledge’s overall compliance levels, and we have developed an action plan to tackle the few improvement issues it highlighted.

Communities as far as two to three kilometres away benefit from free access to water fountains on site during set hours, resulting in around 5000 litres of water being collected by local residents every day.

A new CHF 474 905 wastewater drainage project is also planned to help reduce the risk of flooding and improve the local environment for communities.

Value to Society

To date, 25 signatories (including Nestlé) have adopted the WASH Pledge, and interest has accelerated over the past 12 months. Existing signatories are from 15 business sectors, and they represent operations in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.

Over the past year, we have helped to promote the value of the pledge to the business community through public platforms and participation in peer to peer dialogues, including on World Toilet Day and at the WASH session of the UN-Water Annual Zaragoza Conference in January 2015.

Value to Nestlé

Nestlé was one of the first signatories to sign up to the pledge, as we believe that it demonstrates how we deliver on our Corporate Business Principles and on putting our people first. Through the WASH Pledge, 339 456 employees from Nestlé are ensured access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.