An Open Letter to the Town of Erin

To Press Releases listApr 13, 2017

As a member of this community for nearly 20 years, we have worked – and continue to work – responsibly to contribute to the success of Wellington County. Over this time, Nestlé Waters Canada has done a lot of engagement but know there is always an opportunity to do more.

With over 300 employees at our Aberfoyle plant and Canadian head office, our first responsibility is to the Wellington County community – our friends, our families and our neighbours. Not only in terms of providing resources, research, and quality water, but through listening, engaging and supporting our shared values.

Last year, I led a Nestlé global community relations initiative called the Community Relations Process (CRP) where my colleagues and I interviewed residents, politicians, government officials and members of environmental groups across Wellington County.

The community stakeholders challenged us to step up. To do more. And to deliver community-building infrastructure. We have listened.

We are excited to put forward the Erin Community Benefit Fund which was introduced to Erin Council and the public in early February. This fund would contribute a minimum of $25,000 a year to the town based on the number of litres of water pumped under our permit. This could increase to as much as $200,000 per year for the community to spend on local projects.

Some members of the community have questioned our intent in creating this fund and we want to take this opportunity to explain why.

Our goal with the Erin Community Benefit Fund is to give back by contributing directly to community projects and initiatives. Municipalities are somewhat limited in their ability create new revenue tools. The Erin Community Benefit Fund would assist by contributing to the quality of life in Erin, where we have proudly operated for 17 years.

I am also committed to continuing conversations through our weekly community open office hours, public information sessions and our upcoming Aberfoyle Community Open House. I am available to listen and transparently answer questions about our data-driven monitoring program and sustainable operations.

We want to work together – to recycle and renew – and to ensure a healthy, respectful and progressive future for this community. Because we are not only in the water business, but the business of earning the respect of our neighbours while delivering results for Wellington County.

Dr. Andreanne Simard is Nestlé Waters Canada’s Natural Resource Manager and a resident of Puslinch, Ontario. A PhD from the Michigan State University, Andreanne is also responsible for sharing Nestlé’s data-driven monitoring program at our weekly Wellington County office hours.