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Published: 04.24.2015

Global Water Summit announces Nestlé winner Corporate Water Stewardship Award

Banner 2015 Global Water Summit

The 2030 Water Resources Group congratulates Nestlé for winning the first Corporate Water Stewardship Award for technology that allows a Mexican dairy factory to operate without using any local groundwater.

Each year, the coveted Global Water Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit (27 & 28 APril), the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The Awards acknowledge the most important achievements in the international water industry within several categories. The Corporate Water Stewardship Award will be awarded this year for the first time. The prize honors the company which best reflects the objectives of the 2030 Water Resources Group in achieving creative solutions for improving water security.

Water Value Revolution

This year’s Summit focused on the theme of the Water Value Revolution, bringing together government & utility leaders, senior executives, investors & best practitioners from across the global water industry. The ambition is to determine water’s key role in the future of sustainable economic growth & to revolutionize the role of water in the global economy. The CWS Award is very important for the work that the 2030 Water Resources Group is doing around the globe. Efforts to catalyze collective action on the ground can not be sustained without a  shared commitment to increasing access to safe water.

Nestlé Cero Agua factory Mexico.

Nestlé Cero Agua factory Mexico.

Pilot in Mexico

The company won the award, voted on by audience members at the Global Water Summit in Athens and online members of the 2030 Water Resources Group, for its ‘ZerEau’ water initiative, piloted at its ‘Cero Agua’ factory in Mexico’s water-scarce Jalisco state. “This prestigious award means a huge amount – it’s a vindication of five years hard work from our team on this project. This technology is unique within Nestlé, and it’s by no means an accepted industry direction,” said Jim Knill, Nestlé’s head of dairy operations.

The technology works

The site is the first to pilot use of Nestlé technology that allows the site to operate without using groundwater during normal operations. Water is extracted from cow’s milk and treated to allow for its use as process water. The resulting effluent water is treated again and used for cooling and cleaning. “Twelve years ago I was told that this couldn’t be done, due to cost implications, water quality issues, the technical complexity involved. But we’ve shown that the technology works – now we want to apply it elsewhere,” Knill said.

Minimizing impact

Following the success of its pilot in Mexico, Nestlé plans to retrofit other dairy factories situated in water-stressed areas of South Africa, Pakistan, India and China with the technology. Such water-saving technologies form part of Nestlé’s work to achieve water efficiency and sustainability across its operations, by minimizing the impact of its operations on natural water resources.

Shortlisted nominees

  • BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Australia
  • Hindustan Zinc, India
  • Tamilnadu Water Investment Corporation, India
  • Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas, Heineken, Portugal

See their entries here >>


Read more about the Cero Agua Factory in Mexico

Visit the Global Water Summit 2015 website