Nestle Philippines’ water Initiatives follow its Corporate Commitment on Water, as expressed by the acronym below:
Work to continue reducing the amount of water used per kilo of food and beverage produced
Assure that our activities respect local water resources
Take care that water we discharge into the environment is clean
Engage with agricultural suppliers to promote water conservation among farmers
Reach out to others to collaborate on water conservation and access.
Nestle Philippines is keenly aware that water is a life-giving resource that is finite and is getting scarcer by the minute. The company takes water conservation to heart, leaving no stone unturned in finding ways to minimize and optimize consumption, treat wastewater, and protect water sources.
Ever pressed to reduce consumption while increasing production, all Nestle worksites employ various means to use water efficiently. Workers are greatly involved, not only in implementing water conservation practices, but more so in thinking of ways to conserve water at their level, since they are as the ones who know best the conditions within which they do their job. Water conserving ideas are, thus, aplenty in the worksites – mostly simple practices that cost little spending but cause a lot of savings.
Among these are:
All these initiatives have reduced water consumption throughout Nestle Philippines by 41% since 2006, or an average of 170,000 cubic meters of water every year. In 2010, water consumption further dropped by 20%. Water dropped to 7.21 m3/ton from 9.01 in 2009. In 2011, water usage has been reduced further by more than 5%.
These achievements were the results of implementing the NEMS, which is similar to ISO 14001. In fact, all four factories of Nestle Philippines and three distribution centers are certified to ISO 14001. Aside from achieving water reduction, NEMS was instrumental in continual reduction of energy, greenhouse gases, residual waste, etc., despite the increase in the volume of products manufactured.
One of the recent water conservation initiatives implemented in the Nestle Lipa Factory is Rainwater Harvesting. In 2009, the Lipa Factory constructed a rainwater receiving tank and a network of piping to catch the rainfall from the roofing of the Coffee Filling and the Coffee mate Building. From January to October in 2011, the Lipa Factory collected about 6,000 cu.m. of water, which was used as make-up water in their cooling towers.
Nestle Philippines ensures that the requirements on water permits are complied with. In addition, the effluent (treated waste water) standards of the government are strictly followed in the company.
In Cagayan de Oro, the Nestle factory installed a monitoring structure to serve as a last line of defense even for storm water. The monitoring structure has a built-in automatic diverter system that closes the valve going to the Umalag River and activates the pump going to the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Nestle keeps a caring eye for rivers and creeks that run through the communities where it operates in. Through Community Outreach Programs, Nestle factories organize regular clean-up activities in areas surrounding their water sources and waterways.
Nestle operates world-class Wastewater Treatment Plants in all its factories and distribution centers to make sure that every drop of water used is cleansed of impurities before it is released to natural waterways. Industrial wastewater is treated separately from domestic waste to produce cleaner effluent and ensure absence of bacteria that characterize the domestic kind. Most of the treated industrial waste water is now being recycled.
All of Nestle’s Waste Water Treatment Plants have full-time Waste Water Treatment Operators. Each is complete with laboratory facilities to ensure that treated wastewater complies or performs better than the strict government effluent standards. Effluent fishponds with koi or tilapia fish are set-up to serve as biological indicators showing that the treated wastewater is clean enough to sustain marine life.
Nestle Philippines has a dedicated team of agronomists that provide technical training on coffee growing to farmers. Environmental protection and water conservation are incorporated in the training modules of the agronomists. The following technologies and practices are taught to farmers:
Nestle has also initiated water education through the project Water Education for Teachers (WET), a curriculum activity-based training on water and related environmental concerns. Its workshops are conducted in schools, communities, and worksites. In 2011, close to 1,000 students, employees, and community neighbors were given Project WET training.
Water conservation was also promoted among the business partners of Nestle Philippines through its Greening the Supply Chain (GSC) Program. For two years now, all GSC business partners are encouraged to submit their Water Pledge for the year. Every four months during the GSC Environment Forum, the volumes of water conserved by the business partners are monitored. In 2010, more than 40,000 cu.m. of water was conserved by the business partners. In 2011, the total volume of water pledged was close to 140,000 cu.m. Adding up the figures for two years, the total water conserved translates to approximately 900,000 drums of water.
Nestle Philippines’ long term vision is to make water conservation a continuing habit of every Filipino. An intensive campaign started in 2008 when Nestle rolled out a Values Advocacy Program on “every drop of water counts”. Nestle partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the different media (print, radio and TV) providers to feature good and wasteful practices using “Sa mata ng bata” (In the eyes of children) commercials. In the succeeding years, the company participated in a number of exhibits aimed at promoting water conservation. The latest exhibit that Nestle Philippines participated in was during the Climate Change Consciousness Week held in the SMX Convention Center in November 2011.
All sites of Nestle Philippines, Inc.
DENR on Values Advocacy Program, media, business partners under the Greening the Supply Chain Program