Does Nestlé contribute to water scarcity in Pakistan?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, out of the total available usable water in Pakistan, about 90% is used for agriculture (including domestic use in rural areas), 8% is used by municipality for urban areas and 2% for industrial usage. The bottled water and beverage sector uses approximately 0.001% of total water usage – spread amongst the approximately 100 bottled water brands present in Pakistan. These statistics of bottled water usage in Pakistan is still much lower than many developing economies and almost insignificant when compared with more developed markets around the world.

How does Nestlé help in terms of water conservation in Pakistan?

Water resource management has been a key focus of our Creating Shared Value, also called CSV, strategy. Pakistan needs to manage its resources efficiently to reduce water waste. Currently, more than 90% of the water is consumed in agriculture, with 50% being wasted due to poor irrigation and infrastructure. Actions need to be taken to avoid a potential crisis by 2025. We realize that in order to help tackle water stress, we must work beyond our factory gates and take collective action, with other partners like the government, communities, farmers, civil society and academia. Taking that approach, we launched our Caring for Water – Pakistan (C4W) initiative to ensure that we are a responsible steward of water resources.

What is the “Caring for Water – Pakistan” initiative?

Taking the collective action approach forward, we launched our Caring for Water, also called C4W, Pakistan initiative in 2017. C4W-Pakistan is a blueprint for bringing different stakeholders together to discuss how can we work to conserve water resources. Since water is a shared resource, it requires collective action to address the country’s water challenges. We support a collaborative approach in order to encourage more partners to join us and invite new ideas whether they are related to agriculture, technology, quality of water or protecting watersheds.

What areas do you target under the C4W-Pakistan initiative?

The initiative mainly covers three pillars i.e., Factories, Communities and Agricultural Supply Chain.

What is Nestlé Pakistan doing to save water inside its Factories?

We are transforming our water usage by reducing withdrawal, carrying out hydrological studies and implementing stewardship initiatives. We have reduced water consumption per ton of product by 24% between 2013 and 2019 inside our factories. Nestlé Pakistan's Sheikhupura Factory is working on an innovative technology that enables us to extract water from fresh milk instead of drawing on an outside supply. By doing so, we have saved an estimated 47 mio liters in 2019.

What is the Alliance for Water Stewardship? How does it help to save water for companies like Nestlé?

The Alliance for Water Stewardship, or AWS, is an international standard, which guides companies and organizations on how to improve their water efficiency - not just onsite, but also offsite. This AWS certification process requires the alignment of all local stakeholders, in and outside of the factory. Working with WWF-Pakistan and AWS, Nestlé Pakistan aims to have all its sites certified by the AWS Standard by the end of 2020.

How does Nestlé Pakistan offer help to the community in this regard?

We have installed 6 safe and clean drinking water facilities around the areas of our operations. These facilities provide safe and clean drinking water to 60,000 people every day, free of cost.

How does Nestlé Pakistan help to reduce water wastage in agriculture sector?

We have partnered with the Punjab Agriculture Department and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council to encourage local farmers to take up drip irrigation. In 2019, we applied drip in some of our partner farms resulting in collective water saving of up to 391 million liters. We are also exploring other high-efficiency irrigation methods like different types of furrow irrigation and sprinklers, based on the farmers’ needs.

What is Nestlé’s water sense project? How do these sensors work?

In partnership with Lahore University of Management Sciences, Nestlé Pakistan has developed smart soil moisture sensors. The sensors read the moisture level of the soil and send regular data updates to a cloud from where the farmer receives information about which areas he should irrigate and how much. Moreover, a software has been developed with the help of Waziup (an organization based in Italy) that enables the farmers and the researchers to see the soil moisture level remotely on their computer screen. This helps save water and increase productivity by reducing the chance of under- or over-irrigation.

How is Nestlé creating awareness about water conservation among its employee and public?

Nestlé Pakistan creates awareness on water conservation through various digital campaigns on internal communication channels and external forums like Facebook, twitter etc. Also World Water Day is extensively celebrated across Nestlé Pakistan as a calendar event in which oath taking ceremonies, awareness walks and different interactive quiz competitions are organized for knowledge building within its employees. Our water experts create awareness among our communities on water conservation by organizing training sessions in neighboring schools and technical training institutions.

Does Environmental Sustainability goals of Nestlé Pakistan are in liaison with UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Yes. We shape sustainable consumption and steward resources for future generations. All our Environmental Sustainability Projects and goals are in liaison with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Can I voluntarily work with Nestlé for its Care for Water initiative?

Yes. You may contact our Corporate Affairs Department for any queries.

Does Nestlé Pakistan aim to use renewable energy in its operations to secure future of our planet?

Nestlé Pakistan has always been looking at the options to reduce the environmental footprint and for cleaner energy options. Continuing on this journey, we have installed solar energy systems in our factories and milk collection centers. Nestlé Pakistan achieved a total capacity of 0.5 MW. The continuing effort of Nestlé Pakistan in Solar Energy is setting an example in dairy industry to make use of renewable energy solution for its sustainable business.

How is Nestlé Pakistan tackling waste at source?

We ensure that waste from our sites must be disposed-off properly with our focus on reduce, reuse & recycle and none of the waste ends up in landfill. As a contribution to our global commitment of tackling plastic waste, Nestlé Pakistan has taken initiatives focusing on most preferable techniques of waste management, i.e. reduction and recycling of our plastic waste. We have eliminated usage of single use plastics and promoted waste segregation at source by implementation of centralized waste bins across sites. Up till now, 267 tons of plastic waste from Sheikhupura Factory has been converted into 6000 plastic pallets, which are being used in the factory. Adding to the recycling initiatives, 95,000 sq. feet roof of finished product warehouses is covered with corrugated plastic tuff sheets in Sheikhupura Factory.

How is Nestlé Pakistan reducing the use of plastic in its packaging?

In 2019, Nestlé Pakistan has continued and trusted experimentation in packaging optimization. As a result, we have achieved 704 tons of material reduction in packaging which is 58.5% greater than 2018.

How is Nestlé Pakistan continuously improving its Environmental Sustainability KPIs?

Environmental Sustainability is a part of our core values therefore we set year-on year targets to further reduce Green House Gas emission, Waste at source and Water withdrawal. For instance, focus areas for 2020 will be exploring opportunities for more renewable energy sources, waste reduction at source, recycling of Plastic waste, vendor development for incineration with heat recovery, water and energy conservation as well as R&D for packaging optimization. Nestlé Pakistan is targeting 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product and 5% reduction in water consumption per ton of production.