Water management and Nestlé
Why is water management so important? According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “Water plays a pivotal role for sustainable development, including poverty reduction. Given the importance of water to poverty alleviation, human and ecosystem health, the management of water resources becomes of central importance. Currently, over 1 billion people lack access to water and over 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation. This water crisis is largely our own making. It has resulted not from the natural limitations of the water supply or lack of financing and appropriate technologies, even though these are important factors, but rather from profound failures in water governance.” The UNDP has further commented that water management will be a critical factor in whether we can realistically expect any one of the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved.
Why a Nestlé water report? Nestlé has published this report for three reasons. Firstly, as the world’s largest food and beverage company, we rely on access to clean water in order to conduct our business and to produce quality products for our consumers. We too are concerned about the state of water in the world, now and in the future. This is true for our own operations, and for the future of those whose access to clean water is at risk. Secondly, we wanted to document the actions we have taken in regard to our own food manufacturing operations, where we have direct control, and also efforts we have made to improve access to clean water in indirect ways outside of our own direct business activities. Thirdly, we want to obtain stakeholder input and explore what future directions we intend to pursue in order to contribute to improvements in the world’s access to clean water. As a company we utilise a very small fraction of the world’s water. But by working with others, we believe we can have a positive impact.
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