Nestle Ad Claims “Bottled Water Most Environmentally Responsible Consumer Product in the World.”

The bottled water backlash has forced Nestle to defend its largely indefensible practices in increasingly aggressive terms, but even we’re surprised at the latest.

Threats of legal action (Miami-Dade) and an aggressive, misleading PR campaign are considered de riguer for the world’s largest food & beverage company, but claiming “Bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world” makes even the most cynical jaws drop here at StopNestleWaters.org.

Fortunately, it’s not just us – a coalition of Canadian groups has filed a complaint against Nestle for its recent ad, which clearly takes greenwash to dizzying new heights.

From the CBC News site: Nestlé bottled-water ads misleading, environmentalists say

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a complaint against Nestlé, alleging its advertisement claiming that bottled water is “environmentally responsible” is misleading.

Friends of the Earth Canada, the Polaris Institute, the Council of Canadians, Wellington Water Watchers and Ecojustice filed a complaint against Nestlé Waters North America with the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards on Monday.

The complaint was filed after Nestlé published an advertisement in the Globe and Mail in October that included the such statements as:

* “Most water bottles avoid landfill sites and are recycled.”
* “Bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world.”
* “Nestlé Pure Life is a healthy, eco-friendly choice.”

Meera Karunananthan, a spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians, said the ad violates standards of honesty and accuracy.

“For Nestlé to claim that its bottled water product is environmentally superior to any other consumer product in the world is not supportable,” Karunananthan said in a release.

The idea that packaging (in plastic) water and shipping it (in fuel-hungry trucks) to distant locations is somehow environmentally responsible truly transcends normal marketing practices – placing Nestle’s efforts in truly Orwellian territory.

And yes, you can be sure we’ll be following this one.

Stop Nestle Now, TC.

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3 thoughts on “Nestle Ad Claims “Bottled Water Most Environmentally Responsible Consumer Product in the World.”

  1. “The idea that packaging (in plastic) water and shipping it (in fuel-hungry trucks) to distant locations is somehow environmentally responsible truly transcends normal marketing practices – placing Nestle’s efforts in truly Orwellian territory.”

    But isn’t that really just “Nestle think”?

  2. Absolutely, mind-blowingly, absurd. It’s like saying you’re freezing cold when you’re actually on fire in hell.

    If you aren’t already aware, the film FLOW by Irena Salina takes Nestle (and others) to task about the absurdity of bottled water. A Nestle rep reportedly stormed out of a screening of the film.

  3. @Reid: Yes, in the Nestle Universe, lawsuits pertaining to planning commission denials of truck loading stations aren’t lawsuits per se; they’re simply “appeals.” And much, much more.

    @Nicole: Nestle created a corporate video designed to answer FLOW’s criticisms, though it somehow conveniently ignored the legal finding they’d damaged the watershed. In fact, they paraded experts in front of the camera who said Nestle’s pumping had “no impacts” but ignored the reality they were forced to pump at their “no impact” volumes by the court.

    Really, really nice stuff.

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