Nestlé announced a new strategic direction for the company’s water business, involving the pursuit of strategic alternatives – such as potential divestiture – for parts of the North American portfolio, and made significant sustainability commitments for the remaining business, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.
The company announced that it will sharpen its focus on its iconic international brands, its leading premium mineral water brands, and invest in differentiated healthy hydration, such as functional water products, leaving the majority of the Nestlé Waters business in North America outside this focus area. The review is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Within the remaining portfolio, Nestlé has pledged to enhance the company’s sustainability profile with several key initiatives, to be completed by 2025, including achieving carbon neutrality across the portfolio, enhancing water stewardship by replenishing 100% of water Nestlé Waters uses, and promoting circular economy by dramatically reducing use of virgin plastic in its products.
Commenting on the portfolio changes and new sustainability targets, Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said:
“The creation of a more focused business enables us to more aggressively pursue emerging consumer trends, such as functional water, while doubling down on our sustainability agenda. This strategy offers the best opportunity for long-term profitable growth in the category, while appealing to environmentally and health-conscious consumers. Nestlé is one of the pioneers in the global water business and remains committed to healthy hydration. We are working tirelessly to ensure that consumers can enjoy our beverages in an environmentally responsible way.”
The complete list of the company’s new sustainability commitments is as follows (source: Nestlé):
- Achieve Carbon Neutrality: Nestlé Waters will pursue high-quality offsets in addition to investing in projects that reduce or capture carbon across its portfolio. Further, the company is prioritizing International brands Perrier®, S.Pellegrino® and Acqua Panna® to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022.
- Enhance Water Stewardship: As part of the new strategy, Nestlé Waters will support the environmental sustainability of watersheds by replenishing 100% of the water it uses. The company is already committed to certifying all of its water sites globally to the internationally respected Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard.
- Tackle Plastic Waste: Nestlé Waters’ packaging is already 100% recyclable or reusable. As part of its broader efforts to drive a circular economy, Nestlé Waters is committing to halve its use of virgin plastic by using more recycled PET and supporting the roll out of alternative delivery systems.