“Mr. Schneider acknowledged that environmental concerns had hurt sales.”

Nestle AndyMarlette cartoonFI In: "Mr. Schneider acknowledged that environmental concerns had hurt sales." | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Used by permission from Andy Marlette and the Pensacola News Journal.

“Mr. Schneider acknowledged that environmental concerns had hurt sales.”

Nestle’s CEO Mark Schneider continues to make unsubstantiated claims about sustainability of water sources and recycling of their polluting plastic.  Schneider brags about recycling, but the reality is that only a small portion of the bottles get recycled, and the rest  ends up in road ditches, in the river, in our parks, on the streets and everywhere.  Schneider lives in a dream world.

So his bragging merits this analogy:  image your neighbor litters your lawn (your world) with trash and he picks up a tiny bit, and leaves the rest for you and other people.  Then he wants to be the good guy because he picked up a little bit, but left a huge mess for others.  A mess that he and only he caused.  Is this what he is bragging about?  And while making this mess, he pumped water out of your well and offered to sell it back to you.  You pay upkeep and maintenance on the well, but he gets to use it.

Schneider must think we are stupid.

There  are other happy articles reporting this same good news, here  and here.

Read the complete article here in the New York Times.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


Nestlé Weighs Sale of Water Unit in Push Toward Sustainability

Facing tepid sales and criticism from environmental groups, the Swiss food giant is looking to exit brands like Poland Spring and Deer Park.

Nestlé is considering selling most of its bottled water operations in the United States and Canada, the company said on Thursday. That business accounts for a significant share of the Swiss food giant’s sales but has also drawn criticism from environmental groups.

The company generated revenue last year of 3.4 billion Swiss francs, or $3.6 billion, from American water brands it owns like Poland Spring, Deer Park and Zephyrhills, and from delivering purified water to homes and businesses. That figure does not include higher-priced import brands like Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, which are more profitable and which Nestlé intends to keep.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has come under fire from groups that say it drains natural water supplies to bottle and sell at a profit. Environmental activists regard bottled water as inherently wasteful, at least in countries with drinkable tap water, because of the energy required to transport it to stores. Bottled water also contributes to the global glut of plastic waste.

With corporations under intense pressure to help fight climate change, Mark Schneider, Nestlé’s Tesla-driving chief executive, has been trying to show that the company can be both sustainable and profitable. Nestlé, whose brands of baby formula, ice cream, chocolate, pet food and coffee are omnipresent worldwide, has been moving into plant-based meat substitutes, promising to reduce sugar and fat content in its products, and aiming to make all of its packaging recyclable by 2025.

Nestlé announced on Thursday that, also by 2025, it will replenish all of the water it draws from watersheds while taking measures to offset the carbon dioxide produced by bottled water production and transport.

During a telephone interview, Mr. Schneider said Nestlé had decided to consider exiting the U.S. water brands in part because they were not selling as well as the company would like. American consumers are less willing to pay for bottled water than Europeans are.

Mr. Schneider acknowledged that environmental concerns had hurt sales. Those concerns are easier to address with imported brands that command a higher price, he said.

“As you go higher in the price range, there is more room to invest in the sustainability goals,” Mr. Schneider said. “The environmental agenda and business agenda are very much aligned.”

Mr. Schneider declined to comment on whether there were any potential buyers for the water business, and noted that there were options besides an outright sale, like a partnership. Last year, Nestlé sold a majority of its Herta lunch meat business in Europe to Casa Tarradellas, a Spanish company, but kept a minority stake.

Jack Ewing writes about business, banking, economics and monetary policy from Frankfurt, and contributes to breaking news coverage. Previously he worked for a decade at BusinessWeek magazine in Frankfurt, where he was European regional editor. @JackEwingNYT Facebook

1 Comment

  1. Promises, promises. I’d like to hear the plan for replenishing all the water it draws.

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