One such example is our work in partnership with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) since 2017. Under this partnership, we have established a site that demonstrates various methods of conserving water wastage in the agriculture sector. It is a 6-acre crop site where we have installed High Efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS) and Smart Soil Moisture Sensors. By HEIS, we mean that responsive and underground drip irrigation system, bubbler irrigation and modified channel basin surface irrigation system are installed on this site.
The site not only models best practices by using innovative methods and environment friendly technology but also shows how to enhance crop yield through minimum use of water. Furthermore, this project serves as knowledge hub for farmers, professionals, media, and service providers visiting the research center. So far, more than 3,300 people have visited PARC and have been sensitized about the role of HEIS and how it helps in reducing water wastage across the agriculture sector.
Similarly, Smart Soil Moisture Sensors help in precision agriculture by creating data about what area to irrigate and how much. These sensors are installed near the roots of the plant and send regular data update to a cloud from where the farmer receives information about soil moisture level. Not only this, with the help of an app, the farmers can now see the soil moisture level on their mobile phones.
With such partnerships, Nestlé takes a step out of its fences and takes collective action under its Caring for Water-Pakistan (C4W-Pakistan) initiative with other stakeholders. C4W-Pakistan is a consolidation of all of our work in the area of water conservation and it has three pillars; Agriculture, Factories and Communities.
While under the “Agriculture” pillar of the initiative, we help in reducing water wastage in the agriculture sector by creating partnerships (such as with PARC), under the “Factories” pillar, we introduce programs to help improve the in-house water efficiency. Until 2021, we have been able to reduce water consumption per ton of product by 23% between 2013 and 2021. We are also the only company in Pakistan that has all its sites certified by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. AWS is an international standard for freshwater resources that guides organizations to manage water by taking on-site and catchment initiatives through stakeholder inclusive processes.
Similarly, being fully aware of the prevailing drinking water issues in the country, we undertake activities under our “Communities” pillar of C4W. So far, we have established 6 Safe and Clean Drinking Water Facilities around our operational areas. These facilities provide access to clean drinking water to 60,000 people every day. Not only have we have established these plants, we also undertake strict quality control measures to ensure provision of safe water.
All these activities and projects are part of Nestlé’s bigger commitment towards water regeneration. Building on all of our existing water stewardship efforts under the C4W initiative, we launched our Water Pledge in 2021 which is Water Business specific. Under this pledge, our Water Business commits to lead the regeneration of the water cycle to create a positive water impact everywhere it operates by 2025. This is done by taking collective action with local communities, farmers in our value chain, government and other sector specific experts under the C4W initiative.
It is important to distinguish here that whereas the ‘Water Pledge’ is our what part, ‘C4W-Pakistan’ is the how part. We are happy to mention here that by 2021, we have been able to help regenerate 49% of the water volume that is used by our Water Business, through our C4W-Paksitan initiative.
Our Contribution to the UN SDGs
Our work on Caring for Water contributes to the following SDGs: