Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) wanted to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water use by achieving the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard certification. AWS is an organization that unites businesses, non-governmental organizations, and public agencies in support of global and local water steward leadership that “recognizes and secures the social, cultural, environmental, and economic value of freshwater.” The AWS universal framework for sustainable water use is the International Water Stewardship Standard (Standard), which drives and recognizes good water stewardship performance. However, the Standard is a vision, not a roadmap for making that vision a reality. At the time, no North American companies had achieved certification, which meant NWNA would need to create an independent approach to achieve certification.
Leading the way to AWS certification was important to NWNA, and they needed water resource compliance experts to work with them to identify and meet the metrics that would lead to certification. Starting with their facility in Ontario, California, NWNA planned to certify all plants in the region and country, and then all their international facilities by 2025. NWNA was reaching high, hoping to complete five facility certifications within two years, though it initially appeared that certifying a single facility might take that long.
NWNA has worked with Haley & Aldrich’s hydrogeology experts for years and values our technical expertise and strategic thinking. They asked us to partner with them to meet their ambitious water stewardship goals.
“It has been a privilege to work with NWNA on this important initiative, and we look forward to our continued collaboration toward sustainable water management.”Water Resource Service Leader, Mark Nicholls
Our team immediately set out to define the process that would clearly demonstrate NWNA’s conformity to the Standard. Due to our extensive regulatory experience, we knew it was crucial not only to understand the Standard, but also the thinking behind it. Because of this we were able to anticipate questions from AWS in advance and address how the facility met the Standard.
We reviewed the four AWS desired outcomes: sustainable water balance, good water quality, healthy important water-related areas (sites and values), and good water governance. We then compiled data describing water challenges, water-related risks, impacts, and opportunities to support the development of the water stewardship plan and assessed the data against the desired outcomes. Our efforts conclusively demonstrated adherence to the Standard, which AWS accepted as presented. They certified the Ontario facility, which became the first AWS-certified facility in North America.
Our team met NWNA’s ambitious timeline of achieving its first certification in one year, followed by the four other facilities across California over the following year. NWNA has since standardized the approach we developed, using it at other North American locations. This enabled the company to achieve their AWS certification goals and set them on the path to certifying all plants worldwide by 2025.
- Pioneered the process for achieving Alliance for Water Stewardship certification
- Achieved a two-year certification goal in one year
- Helped our client become the first organization in North America to achieve AWS certification
- Provided our client with a proven, repeatable process they have adopted for their other North American facilities
- Put our client on the path to achieve AWS certification for all their facilities by 2025
“The AWS has set a high bar, and we are very proud to help NWNA meet the Standard in order to help protect vital water resources for future generations.”Water Resource Service Leader, Mark Nicholls
For more information, contact:
Service Leader, Water Resources