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Watershed Biodiversity

Background Our business relies on a healthy, thriving environment. So, in the last two years, we have given new emphasis to our approach to biodiversity. In addition to our existing use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for product and packaging design, which incorporate biodiversity impacts, we have drawn on the knowledge of scientific experts to identify a series of courses of action to lower our impact on biodiversity and, where appropriate, enhance the biodiversity of the areas surrounding our factories. Working with the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), we identified a list of factories in areas of high biodiversity and/or located in or adjacent to protected areas where we will focus our future actions. Of these 60 factories, 60% are either Nestlé Waters factories or milk factories – two businesses that already have significant bodies of work that mitigate impacts, and in many cases strengthen local management of biodiversity. Programme description In France, for example, Nestlé received a special commendation for the best site management initiative in biodiversity, for a scheme to protect water reserves and restore biodiversity around the Vittel water source, awarded by the French Ministry for Sustainable Development and the French Environment and Energy National Agency (ADEME). Nestlé helped to launch the “Agrivair” project back in 1992, to preserve the quality of the Vittel, Contrex and Hépar springs in the Vosges water basin. Working diligently and in collaboration with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and many other specialists – including historians, sociologists,economists, agronomists, animal technicians and hydrogeologists – our colleagues in France have helped to make Agrivair one of the world’s largest private protected areas. Across 10 000 hectares of protected land, farmers have stopped using all artificial fertilisation and pesticides, abandoned crops that create nitrogen pollution and introduced crop rotation systems to improve soil conditions. With plans for future action to support biodiversity, including systematic tree planting and the reshaping of a river, Agrivair has provided Nestlé and others with a valuable model for watershed conservation. Read more