02 Mar
2016
Joining Nestlé Waters North America on the Path to Greater Sustainability Nelson Switzer

Here at Nestlé Waters North America, the philosophy of creating shared value has been put to work to great effect. Every day as part of our daily work, the team here focuses on helping consumers live a healthy lifestyle through providing water as a healthy hydration choice and by striving for sustainable water management practices that support our environment, communities and people. This is a big reason why I am thrilled to have recently joined the team in the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer.

In this role, I hope to continue the groundbreaking work that has made the company an industry leader in corporate environmental stewardship. After more than 15 years working with companies in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility strategy, I am very excited to be joining a team that understands that when we decode the interconnections between our shared environment, communities and economy we can create value that protects and benefits ecosystems and people alike.

To do this, Nestlé Waters has made it a priority to engage with stakeholders – those whose decisions can affect our ability to operate and solve problems – at the local, regional and federal levels. Listening to the concerns of our neighbors and operators, regulators and legislators, activists and civil society groups, consumers, and customers among others is the best way to understand the issues that affect us both and help us guide our practices in the spirit of continuous improvement.

In addition to the mission of promoting water as healthy hydration, Nestlé Waters has ingrained shared value in its brand identity. From water stewardship initiatives, coastal clean ups, and close monitoring of its springs, Nestlé Waters manages for sustainability at its water sources. This means the company is thinking about how to meet the needs of our communities today without compromising the resources future generations will need to meet their own needs.

But sustainability is always a two-way street. What makes my job so exciting is the shared value that Nestlé Waters is continually working to develop – in collaboration with partners from which we learn and share. Only through this collaboration, by getting out in the communities we serve and hearing from the people on the ground where we source and bottle water, can we enhance our strategy, maximize the social value we contribute, and shift our environmental impact to one in which we create net environmental value.

In the face of a rapidly changing global climate, urbanization, globalization, technological change, and economic uncertainty, people are rightfully more concerned than ever with the legacy they will leave behind for generations to come. This makes sustainable business practices more important than ever before. Knowing that I can contribute to the continued growth and implementation of Nestlé Waters’ widespread sustainability strategy as a lever of legacy stewardship is what motivates me.

By: Nelson Switzer