In line with Nestlé’s commitment to community engagement, Nestlé Waters Global CEO Marco Settembri and Managing Director Nestlé Pakistan Bruno Olierhoek inaugurated a clean drinking water facility in village Bhatti Dhilwan, near the Sheikhupura Factory in November 2015.
At least 5,000 people belonging to the neighbouring areas will have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis, as a result of this initiative.
"It is imperative that we close the gap between supply and demand of safe fresh water if we are to thrive; as businesses, communities or countries. We have pledged globally to water stewardship in effort to adopt sustainable water practices especially in areas where we operate, source our goods and where our suppliers and consumers live," said Settembri, during his visit to Pakistan.
This is not the first time that Nestlé has invested in meeting the water needs of the community that it operates in. The company also renovated the Bhatti Dhilwan Government Primary School for Boys and established a clean drinking water facility there for students and community members in July 2014.
"It is not just our village which is benefiting from the water plant, the neighbouring areas are also repeaing the benefits of this installation," said M. Ilyas Dogar, a Community elder from Bhatti Dhilwan. "Nestlé has undertaken the responsibility of maintaining this clean drinking water facility and they have not placed any burden on us."
This facility also led to reduced stomach ailments for the students studying at the school, who did not have access to clean drinking water before.
Besides fulfilling the water requirements of the community, there are also other ways in which Nestlé is trying to reduce the water footprint in its operations.
On the occasion of Settembri’s visit, an implementation agreement was signed between Khurrum Zia, Nestlé Pakistan’s Country Business Manager (CBM) and Hammad Naqi, Director General (DG) WWF-Pakistan, under which the latter would help the company implement sustainability practices and Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard at its Islamabad factory. The two partners have already put the AWS standard in place at Nestle’s Sheikhupura Factory.
"To eliminate the risk of water shortage, we will need long term, meaningful collective action. Nestlé Pakistan, between 2003 and 2013 alone, improved water efficiency in its operations by 22%. The company also ensures treatment of wastewater before releasing it back into the ecosystem. We realise that as a responsible water steward, we need to take on board the communities and educate other stakeholders," said Bruno Olierhoek, the Managing Director for Nestlé Pakistan, at the event.