NESTLÉ HAS committed to making significant cuts to its water use across Europe, reducing water consumption by 40% in its European production sites by 2020.
The global food and drink manufacturer has already reduced the amount of water used in European operations by 36% between 2004 and 2010, after changes to production levels are taken into account.
According to the European Commission, the demand for water is increasing, with water scarcity affecting one in 10 people living in the European zone and so companies need to take action to reduce the amount wasted.
Laurent Freixe, Executive Vice President Europe commented: “While water scarcity tends to be an issue that is more related to the South, it is highly relevant in Europe as well.”
“We will meet [our] targets by combining training, changing behaviour, quick wins and knock-on investments,” he added.
Across Europe, Nestlé is carrying out systematic reviews of water resources to identify the “hot-spots” where investment can be prioritised and targeted.
In the UK, the Girvan factory already aims to recycle 0.5 million litres of water extracted from the milk used to make chocolate each day and since 2009, the factory has saved 40% of its water. By the end 2014 they intend to have reduced water usage by 84%.
So far Nestlé has reduced overall water withdrawals per tonne of product by one third since 2005 and has further pledged to achieve the 40% reduction by the end of 2015. This follows a series of global public commitments on water made in its annual Creating Shared Value Report released in 2013 which promised to: achieve water efficiency across operations, treat the water they discharge effectively and raise awareness of water access and conservation.