Nestlé boss urges local action on global water scarcity

Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has stressed the need for "pragmatic, efficient and cost-effective action" to address global water scarcity at the World Water Forum.

He was speaking at the event in Marseille, France, today (March 12) as Nestlé launched its latest creating shared value report Meeting the Global Water Challenge highlighting its efforts to tackle the issue.

Brabeck-Letmathe told delegates the key to reducing global water consumption was local action. “Water issues cannot be solved by structures abroad,” he said.

“Initiative has to be taken at local level by addressing specific issues on individual river basins. It has to be government driven and supported by a broad local public-private partnership.”

He stressed that a global public-private initiative 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) can also help by providing tools and information on best practice.

Formed in 2008 following the United Nations’ call for businesses and governments to address the issue of water security, it provides guidance and new policy ideas on water resource scarcity.

Brabeck-Letmathe, who chairs the WRG, appealed for support for the initiative from the 3,200 attendees at the opening session.

The new report is Nestlé’s eighth annual publication on creating shared value – its approach to business that aims to create value for both shareholders and the communities where it operates, building on sustainable business practices.

It shows that the company has reduced water consumption in its factories by nearly a third since 2001, while its food and beverage production volume has increased by 73%.

A more in-depth look at the report will follow on edie.

Maxine Perella

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