As a company dependent on natural spring water to make our products, Nestlé Waters Canada is committed to responsible water management and to working collaboratively with the communities where we do business.
Our spring sources are developed and managed for long term sustainability and we have processes in place to help us manage these sites responsibly. A number of factors are evaluated upfront to identify appropriate spring sites including water flow volumes, water quality, the recharge area that replenishes the source, other uses of the source and of course taste. Our full-time Natural Resource Managers, trained hydrogeologists and engineers monitor our spring sources and manage them for long term sustainability. Additionally:
We operate 28 bottling facilities and 69 branch offices throughout the U.S. and Canada (as of 2011). Today, our research shows that our bottled water has the lightest environmental footprint per unit of product in the packaged beverage industry. Weare undertaking a number of initiatives to further reduce our manufacturing and logistics footprint and continue to make progress toward our goal of reducing carbon intensity by 20 percent by 2013.
Nestlé Waters North America was one of the first food or beverage manufacturer (non-alcholic) to build plants that adhere to the stringent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for sustainability. To date, nine of our factories meet LEED requirements. Some characteristics of LEED-certified food or beverage plants include the use of nontoxic building materials and maintenance, a design that enables water efficiency, better mechanisms for waste reduction, minimal impact exterior lighting, and constructed wetlands on-site.
But our efforts go beyond our LEED facilities:
At Nestlé Waters, we know that a smaller footprint has to start with less packaging. So we've assessed design and materials and made a concerted effort to reduce all the primary and secondary packaging materials we use in our products.
With the introduction of our next generation lightweight bottle, we have reduced the amount of PET plastic by 60%, saving 260 million pounds of plastic per year. We've reduced the size of our labels by as much as 35%, saving 10 million pounds of paper annually. And we've developed a bottle cap that is a mere 1 gram in weight. These, along with numerous other innovations, have enabled us to not only reduce the size of our packages, but also to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on landfills.
Our efforts to promote recycling will drive further improvement in the future. Today, PET plastic water bottles represent only one-third of one percent of the total solid waste stream in the U.S., but we think that none of this packaging should be thrown away and we are working to get all of our bottles recycled.
An important part of improving our impact is to take a look at how we use the roads.
o start, we increased the volume of product in each truck, reducing the number of vehicles on the road and miles traveled. We added diesel-electric hybrid trucks and hydrogen fuel cell forklifts to our fleets. And instead of shipping empty bottles from an outside source, we produce 98% of our bottles in our plants, saving 6.6 million gallons of fuel each year.
Nestlé Waters started investing in hybrid vehicles in 2008. Now we're participating in the largest collaborative heavy-duty hybrid truck project in the nation. The project will enable our Nestlé in the nation. The project will enable Nestlé Waters to purchase 25 environmentally friendly vehicles. Each one of the new trucks is expected to deliver 25% improvement in fuel economy.
We've always been regionally focused. Today, 82% of our product is shipped directly to retailers eliminating the need for warehouse storage - and additional driving miles. Because we have regional distribution chains, we're able to ship directly to the customer as much as possible, eliminating warehouse storage as well as cutting the number of miles needed for transportation. We see this as an advantage over having one national location, which would require more frequent shipments and more transportation miles, both of which would increase CO2 emissions
Recycling is the cornerstone of a sustainable approach and our PET bottles are 100% recyclable. Today, approximately 97% of Canadian housholds have access to recycling and about 68% of all PET plastic beverage bottles were recycled last year in Canada. We are committed to improving the recycling rates for our bottles by helping to improve recycling. There is a growing demand for recycled PET plastic resin, which can be repurposed to make fleece, carpet, and even new plastic bottles.
Nestlé Waters is using recycled plastic in one of our brands: Montclair®
Reflecting a full-circle use of plastic beverage containers, each Montclair bottle serves as an educational vehicle to inform consumers about the importance of recycling and demonstrates how recycled plastic can be reused repeatedly to create new products. After an empty bottle is collected, through the recycling process, the plastic is ground into flakes, cleaned and processed to remove contaminants. Then it is repelletized into post consumer PET which we purchase to form new plastic bottles for our Montclair rPET.
Join us in our effort to recycle as much as possible! Every bottle helps!