Access to water, sanitation and hygiene

Clean water for food, sanitation and hygiene is a basic human right. We’re committed to ensuring we support access to water where we can.

Our commitment

Raise awareness on water conservation and improve access to water and sanitation across our value chain

Why it matters

Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a basic human right. It also helps to reduce mortality and morbidity rates, maintains dignity and plays an important role in strengthening resilience in communities. In collaboration with expert partners, companies like Nestlé can make a real contribution to society by helping more people gain access to WASH services.

Our approach

We have a twofold approach to WASH: we respect the human right to water in line with the ‘do not harm’ principle, and we support access to water in communities surround our operations and supply chain.

Collaboration is at the heart of our efforts to ensure people’s access to clean water. We work with businesses, associations and NGO partners, and have also been working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to improve access to safe water and sanitation in our supply chain.

What we are doing

Our partnerships are having an impact on the world around us.

By 2020

Implement detailed guidelines on human rights to water and sanitation due diligence in all Nestlé markets and key agricultural supply chains.

Our result: In 2018, we started our roll-out in medium-risk markets of the Nestlé Guidelines on Respecting Human Rights to Water and Sanitation.

By 2020

600 000 beneficiaries in local communities have access to water, sanitation or hygiene projects around our manufacturing facilities and key agricultural supply chains.

Our result: Target was met in 2017. 758 604 people around the world are benefiting from our WASH programs to date and 316 474 people in local communities given access to clean water and sanitation through our partnership with the IFRC since 2005.

What we’ve been doing since we achieved our goal two years early

In Papua New Guinea, six out of 10 people do not have access to clean water. Women and children often have to walk long distances carrying up to 30 kg of water. For palm oil communities in Oro Province, accessing clean water is their single biggest challenge – the water they have is often from marshland and is dirty, causing sickness. In 2018, Nestlé supported New Britain Palm Oil Ltd to install nine wells and pumps in Oro. The palm oil communities benefiting from this now have easy access to clean, safe water for all their needs.

How we’re respecting rights to water

In 2018, we rolled out our Nestlé Guidelines on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, to make sure that our operations and upstream supply chain do not have a negative impact on the human right to water. The guidelines, launched in high-risk markets in 2017, were extended in 2018 to our medium-risk markets.

In our AMS Zone, we have implemented the Community Relations Process tool (a tool for community engagement) in at least one factory in five markets.

In Ghana, we’re working with the IFRC to provide rural communities with WASH facilities

Enhancing quality of life is a key part of our purpose, and we are working with the IFRC to improve access to WASH in cocoa-farming communities in east Ghana.

With about 5?000 inhabitants in total, the communities of Akooko and Esikasu have had poor access to these basic resources, which has contributed to poor living standards. In collaboration with the IFRC, we drilled three boreholes for these communities, installed standing pipes, repaired broken water points and fitted a ‘biodigester’ toilet facility.

Samuel Komlorm, Assemblyman of Esikasu, commended Nestlé and the IFRC on expanding WASH to cover the needs of people with disabilities. “One area often ignored in the provision of water and sanitation services is the needs of people with disabilities. We are happy that the Nestlé-IFRC WASH project is consulting and involving people with disabilities in the planning and implementation of activities,” he said.

Nestlé believes that industry has an active role to play if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be realized. This is one way we demonstrate our ambition to help improve 30 million livelihoods directly connected to our business by 2030. Philomena Tan, Managing Director, Nestlé Ghana

Find out more

CSV - Linkbox - Striving for zero environmental impact
CSV - Linkbox - Striving for zero environmental impact

How we're striving for zero

Our 2030 ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations.

CSV - Linkbox - Caring for water
CSV - Linkbox - Caring for water

Caring for water

We’re dedicated to protecting water sources.

CSV - Linkbox - Acting on climate
CSV - Linkbox - Acting on climate

Acting on climate change

Climate change is a global challenge, and we’re committed to doing our bit.

CSV - Linkbox - Safeguarding the environment
CSV - Linkbox - Safeguarding the environment

Safeguarding the environment

We can use resources more efficiently, reduce food waste and help consumers play their part.


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