Tag Archives: greenwash

Nestle Waters CEO Continues Greenwash Spree: This Time it’s Recycling

Nestle Waters CEO Kim Jeffries (the same Kim Jeffries who told the world tap water isn’t safe to drink) continues to flog Nestle’s recycling talking points, and even tells the truth (gasp) that plastic is long-lived in landfills.

Unfortunately, his solution is recycle a marginally higher percentage of plastic; mine is to stop buying and selling water in plastic bottles that simply aren’t going to recycled.

We’re not entirely surprised Mr. Jeffries’ concern for the environment doesn’t extend past Nestle’s bottom line, but for a second there, it seemed possible.

Nestle Waters CEO touts recycling – The Advocate.

More people should embrace plastic as a renewable source by recycling it instead of throwing it away, according to Kim Jeffery, president and chief executive officer of Nestle Waters North America in Greenwich.

“We are recycling-brain-dead in America,” he said Friday to about 160 attendees of the Association for Corporate Growth’s monthly breakfast meeting at the Stamford Marriott. “Plastic has an infinite life.”

“Brain dead” is certainly a colorful term – one that applies equally to the practice of putting water in tiny plastic bottles and then shipping it around the country so somebody can pay more for it than the equivalent amount of gasoline – especially when water of equal quality is almost certainly available from the faucet.

TIME Covers the War on the Water Front – Singles Out Nestle

A short article in TIME chronicles the nationwide battle over water, and not surprisingly, Nestle Waters of North America is singled out for their involvement in multiple battles:

Nestlé, with six of the top 10 brands and more than $2.2 billion in bottled-water sales, is the largest bottled-water company in the U.S., and it’s at the center of a water war on several fronts. As owner of Poland Spring, which uses 500 million gallons of Maine water a year, Nestlé could owe $96 million in tax each year if Wilfong’s proposal is passed. “His mission is misguided,” says Kim Jeffery, CEO of Nestlé North America, which now pays only for the land where the springs are found. In response to a new tax, he says, Nestlé would cancel a planned new plant, costing the state 250 jobs.

In Michigan, Nestlé is facing environmental challenges. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has filed a civil lawsuit to stop Nestlé from withdrawing 210 million gallons of water a year near the small town of Stanwood, arguing that groundwater levels are dropping dangerously; Nestlé says they are healthy. The state legislature is considering 16 bills to set limits on withdrawals of groundwater. In a similar battle over Florida’s springs, Nestlé has so far prevailed.

Why Nestle? Their tendency to elevate corporate water-taking targets – and profits – over the health of local watersheds puts them squarely at ground zero.

Will the company – long targeted by activists for predatory marketing of baby formula and its less-than-savory approach to rural communities – ever reform itself?

Given its recent efforts to greenwash its bottled water efforts, that seems unlikely.

See Nestle’s Infamous Greenwashing Ad (Don’t Stare, It’s Not Polite)

The now-infamous Nestle greenwashing ad we’ve repeatedly referenced was put up for display at the Greenwise blog, and we’ve posted a slightly smaller version:

In an astonishing feat of marketing engineering, the ad represents Nestle’s bottled water as the “most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world,” putting Nestle firmly in the same hyper-marketed realm as “clean coal” and “earn millions from home over the Internet.”

Don’t look so astonished – this is the same “good corporate citizen” who sues small towns, negotiates contracts in secret, and loses very, very ungracefully. This isn’t much of a stretch.

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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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