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Take Back the Tap Factsheet

Take Back the Tap Factsheet

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The bottled water industry has generated demand for its product through marketing, persuading Americans that bottled water is purer and healthier than tap water, even though the U.S. federal government requires more rigorous safety monitoring of municipal tap water than it does of bottled water.
The bottled water industry has generated demand for its product through marketing, persuading Americans that bottled water is purer and healthier than tap water, even though the U.S. federal government requires more rigorous safety monitoring of municipal tap water than it does of bottled water.

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Published by: Food and Water Watch on Aug 05, 2013
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1
Take Back The Tap:
Bottled Water Wastes Resources and Money
&ACT3HEETs*ULY
WATER 
T
he bottled water industry has generated demand for its product throughmarketing,
1
persuading Americans that bottled water is purer and healthierthan tap water,
2
even though the U.S. federal government requires more rigoroussafety monitoring of municipal tap water than it does of bottled water.
3
 
Afer decades o seady growh,
4
or he irs ime in yearsoal U.S. botled waer sales ell during he economic re-cession.
5
During his ime, more-expensive brand namessruggled while cheaper privae-label waer — sore brands— experienced an increase in sales.
6
This led Neslé, amongoher companies, o reduce he price o is botled waer,
7
ouse adverising mehods ha ou puriy
8
and o arge peoplein emerging markes and minoriy groups in he Unied Saesha have limied sae drinking waer.
9
 
Holding On for Pure Lifein the Midst of Declining Sales
Through is Pure Lie brand, Neslé began shifing produc-ion rom spring waer o ap waer in 2005.
10
In 2009, NesléPure Lie was he mos adverised botled waer brand in hecounry wih nearly $10 million spen, mosly on elevisionads.
11
Beween 2008 and 2009, when almos all oher majorbotled waer brands’ sales declined and indusry-wide salesdecreased by 5 percen, Neslé Pure Lie grew by 18 percen.
12
 This may be due o he ac ha Neslé Waers increased ad-verising expendiures on he brand by 3,000 percen beween2004 and 2009.
13
 Alhough Neslé Waers remains publicly opimisic abou isgrowh prospecs,
14
he company appears o be obscuring heinancial realiies o is botled waer business. As repored by
Bloomberg 
news, is waer sales coninued o suer in 2011 orhe sixh year in a row.
15
Bu, when Neslé released is ull-year resuls or 2011, ispress release boased ha Neslé Waers experienced anorganic growh o 5.2 percen and grew in all hree o is geo-graphic zones.
16
I is unclear how he company came up wihhose igures, as a careul analysis o Neslé’s ConsolidaedFinancial Saemens shows ha Neslé Waers experienced a10 percen decline in sales rom 7.2 billion Swiss rancs in 2010o 6.5 billion Swiss rancs in 2011.
17
 Based on he mos recen sales numbers provided in NesléSA’s annual repors, beween 2007 and 2012, Neslé Wa-ers saw a oal sales decline o 31 percen. Norh Americanbotled waer sales dropped by 28 percen and European salesell 51 percen. Targeing new markes, however, appears o bebringing he company some level o success. During he samesix years, oher regions o he world had a 73 percen increasein botled waer sales.
18
(See Table 1 on page 2 and Figure 1 onpage 3.)
 
2
The World’s People NeedFree, Clean, Drinkable Water
Worldwide, abou 1.5 million children under he age o ivedie annually due o illnesses conraced rom conaminaeddrinking waer and unsae saniaion.
22
Approximaely 1.2billion people in he world live in regions wih scarce waerresources, wih 500 million more people on he brink o asimilar siuaion.
23
Anoher 1.6 billion people ace economicwaer shorages,
24
which according o UN Waer means haheir counries “lack he necessary inrasrucure o akewaer rom rivers and aquiers.”
25
And wha many Americansmay no realize is ha he Unied Saes is no immune romhe hrea o waer shorages.
26
 Ye he botled waer indusry akes advanage o he waercrisis by proiing o o dwindling supplies, selling o hewaer in our aquiers and commodiying a common resourceha’s essenial or all lie on Earh.When botlers are no selling municipal waer,
27
hey arepumping and selling common waer resources ha belong ohe public. These pumping operaions can harm he environ-men and naural resources ha communiies rely on.
28
Simi-larly, ransporing he botled waer across hundreds o milesspews carbon dioxide ino he air, complicaing our eors ocomba global climae change.
29
 According o a sudy by researchers or he Paciic Insiue,he manuacure, producion and ransporaion o botledwaer is 1,100 o 2,000 imes as energy inensive as hereamen and disribuion o ap waer,
30
and in 2007, U.S.botled waer consumpion had an energy-inpu equiva-len o beween 32 and 54 million barrels o oil.
31
Over hecourse o a year, ha amoun o energy could uel anywherebeween 1.2 and 2.1 million cars, or an average o 1.6 millioncars annually.
32
 Abou 77 percen o PET plasic waer botles are no recycledand end up in landills, as liter or incineraed.
33
This plasic
a Nestlé Annual Report 2009 at 29b Nestlé Annual Report 2011 at 43c Nestlé Annual Report 2012 at 47A This is a “restated” number using new Accounting Methods. See *footnote below.
ΖQ1HVWO«FKDQJHGWKHZD\LWUHSRUWVLWVVDOHVE\XVLQJDQHZDFFRXQWLQJPHWKRG7KLVFDPHLQWRH΍HFW-DQXDU\
This was brought to our attention in May 2013 when Nestlé Waters North America’s Media and Corporate Communications
GLUHFWRUHPDLOHG)RRG:DWHU:DWFKVWDWLQJȊ&KDQJHVVLQFHPDNHWKHVDOHVȴJXUHVLQWKH1HVWO«ȇ6$DQQXDO
report incomparable to 2012.”
19
5HFRUGRQȴOHZLWK)RRG:DWHU:DWFK8SRQLQYHVWLJDWLRQLWVHHPVWKDWDIWHUPDNLQJWKLVDFFRXQWLQJFKDQJH1HVWO«UHVWDWHGLWVȴQDQFLDOUHVXOWVRQO\EDFNWR
Due to lack of transparency regarding the methodology, we were not able to duplicate this new accounting method processfor the 2007–2009 numbers. However, a Nestlé press release regarding the matter stated that the new method “will reduceNestlé reported sales by about 15%.”
20
Thus, we reduced the 2007 to 2009 numbers by 15 percent to estimate sales repre-
VHQWDWLYHRIWKHQHZDFFRXQWLQJPHWKRGRORJ\DQGVWLOOIRXQGWKDW1HVWO«:DWHUVVDOHVKDYHVWUXJJOHG6HH7DEOHD7KLVȴQGLQJLVFRQVLVWHQWZLWKWKH$SULO%ORRPEHUJDUWLFOHHQWLWOHGȊ1HVWO«:DWHU6X΍HUVIRU6L[WK<HDUDV&RQVXPHUV7U\
Tap” about how the company’s sales continue to struggle.
21
Regions200720082009201020112012% Change
Europe3.873.623.202.652.442.21-43%U.S. and Canada4.353.883.783.673.243.69-15%Other0.6250.6510.7260.8840.8431.27104%
Total8.848.157.707.216.527.17-19%
Table 1a. Nestlé Waters Sales (in Billions of Swiss Francs), Adjusted
 Table 1.
Nestlé Waters Sales
Ζ1%Ζ//Ζ2162)6:Ζ66)5$1&6
Regions
2007
a
2008
a
2009
a
2010
b
2011
b
2012
c
Percent Increase or Decreasein Sales from 2007 to 2012*
Europe
4.554.263.772.652.442.21-51%
U.S. andCanada
5.124.564.443.673.243.69-28%
OtherRegions
0.7350.7660.8540.8440.8431.2773%
Total Sales
10.49.599.067.21
 A
6.52
 A
7.17 
 A
-31%
 
3
botle rash can cos local governmens a lo o money be-cause hey have o pay ipping ees, which are charges appliedo a given quaniy o wase a a processing aciliy, like alandill.
34
In 2012, large landills charged an average o $49.27per on,
35
so wih he more han 4 billion pounds o plasicbotles ending up in landills,
36
municipaliies are paying aleas $98 million a year o dispose o botled waer wase.
37
Community Discord and Nestlé’s Pursuit of Public Water 
In he Unied Saes, liigaion beween residens and botledwaer companies has arisen in communiies rom Caliornia,
39
 o Michigan,
40
o Maine.
41
According o aMaine residen whoough or more public oversigh o commercial waer exrac-ion, Neslé’s Poland Spring has been a bully in he sae,harassing and suing people o ge wha i wans.
42
 However,Neslé’s pursui o waer exends o communiies in low- andmiddle-income counries where people are less able o deendheir righ o waer.For insance, communiies in Pakisan aced boh physical andeconomic waer shorages a he same ime as Neslé mass-produced and proied o o heir dwindling waer supplies.
43
 Pakisan’s drinking waer comes primarily rom groundwaersources,
44
which are reporedly being over-pumped,
45
meaningha he groundwaer wihdrawal rae exceeds renewable ca-paciy.
46
Recurring waer shorages are mos severe in MiddleEasern and Norh Arican ciies.
47
 Ye Neslé’s botling operaions could be urher exacerbainglimied reshwaer resources. For example, he 2012 docu-menary
Botled Life 
revealed ha a nearby Neslé Pure Lieplan was impacing drinking waer in he small Pakisanicommuniy o Bhai Dilwan,
48
linking he plan o he com-muniy’s diry and declining drinking waer.
49
As
Botled Life 
describes, “…he village ounain waer is nohing more hanoul-smelling sludge.”
50
A ormer village councilor said habotling operaions drained groundwaer levels by hundreds o ee,
51
and many children in he communiy have become sickrom drinking he diry waer.
52
 
Take Back the Tap:Support the Human Right to Water
Alhough our public drinking waer sysems are in desperaeneed o ederal invesmen, we are decreasing public undingor our essenial waer and sewer sysems. Reliance on botledwaer may make people less inclined o suppor public inves-men in municipal waer sysems,
53
while beneiing mulina-ional botling companies.The U.S. ederal governmen’s conribuion o waer inra-srucure improvemens has dropped rom more han 60
“Water is of course the most important raw ma-terial we have today in the world. It’s a questionof whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two dif- ferent opinions on the matter. The one opinion,which I think is extreme, is represented by theNGOs, who bang on about declaring water a pub-lic right. That means that as a human being youshould have a right to water. That’s an extremesolution.” 
1HVWO«FKDLUPDQ3HWHU%UDEHFN/HWPDWKHGXU
-ing an interview for the 2005 documentary
WeFeed the World 
.
38
 
Figure 1: Nestlé Waters Sales by Region, in Billions of Swiss Francs
6285&(61(67/$118$/5(3257$71(67/$118$/5(3257$71(67/$118$/5(3257$7
U.S. & CanadaOther RegionsEurope
200720082009201020112012
0.002.004.006.008.0010.0012.0014.000.00.20.40.60.81.01.21.4

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