Our long standing commitment to environmental stewardship is founded on soundly-based monitoring and objectives.
Impact or impacts ?
While some specialists remain fixated on CO2, we promote a multi-criteria environmental evaluation that includes water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the use of energy from non-renewable resources… Beyond that, we think that a product’s environmental impact should always be measured over its entire life cycle, from the point when the raw material that goes into it is used to the end of its life when it can be recycled.
Nestlé’s Environmental Management System has provided us a way to monitor these indicators for every one of our production sites and the company as a whole since 1997. In addition to that, the quantitative and qualitative monitoring of our springs makes up a central part of our company activity. Water table levels and the rates at which they are filled are monitored with the utmost precision and care throughout the world in order to guarantee that the springs are managed according to our corporate commitments as set down in the Nestlé Waters' Commitments.
Certified measurement methodology
To combine the multi-criteria approach with the life cycle analysis, in 2008 we acquired one of the most complete measurement tools on the market for the specific requirements of the bottled water industry, the Global Environmental Footprint (or GEF). The GEF tool is a LCA tool designed for Nestlé Waters by RDC-Environment for eco-design purposes. Both the tool and the methodology associated with it underwent a critical review by a panel of international life cycle analysis experts led by Henri Lecouls , French renowned LCA expert including Carbon Trust (UK) and Sylvatica (USA) before it was certified by this panel. Greenhouse gas emissions as well as water and energy consumption are calculated using methods that meet the recommendations of the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-1 quality standards.
With a half dozen other impacting factors considered as well (such as noise and pollution wastes), the GEF is an extremely precise environmental steering tool that can be applied to all levels and all segments of a product, a brand, a plant, a country or an entire company. Every step in a product life cycle can be analysed and compared so that fields of action that should become priorities can be identified and given our full attention. By the end of 2009, 85% of our business is able to evaluate the impacts of its operations using the GEF tool.
Many other telling figures will be published in the Water Resource Management and Environmental Footprint sections.