One of the world's most well-known brands, Nestle, delves into its work in the field of nutrition, water and rural development as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda in India. Nestlé India strongly believes that in order to continue to prosper over the long-term, the community and society at large must also prosper. As a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company we have been committed to improving the quality of life in communities for many years. Having analysed our value chain we have determined the areas of greatest potential for joint value optimisation with society as Nutrition, Water and Rural Development. These activities are core to our business strategy and vital to the welfare of the people in the communities where we operate. Nestlé India actively seeks engagement and partnerships with stakeholders to optimise positive impact in these focus areas, while managing our commitments to environmental and social sustainability, necessary for the sustainable growth and development of the communities where we operate. In compliance with our CSR Policy, we have focused on activities on creating nutrition and breastfeeding awareness, providing access to drinking water and sanitation, supporting sustainable development of farmers while helping them reduce water use. These initiatives are built upon the strong base of performance in environmental sustainability, applicable laws, international standards and Nestlé Corporate Business Principles We continue to engage with stakeholders including farmers, experts, NGOs and the Government and would take up such other CSR activities in line with government's intent and which are important for society. Given below are details of our initiatives aimed at providing clean drinking water and access to sanitation facilities. Clean Drinking Water Projects
To help improve access to safe drinking water, Nestlé India began constructing clean drinking water facilities in schools around all its factories in 1999. Till date, we have constructed over 255 water tanks across six states in India benefitting more than 109,000 students. Prior to constructing a drinking water facility in a particular school, we assess the number of students, population of the surrounding community, their proximity to a water source, and the school/community's financial capabilities. This assessment is done in order to ensure that the project benefits a sizeable number of people who do not have access to alternate drinking water sources and who cannot afford to construct such facilities themselves. Based on the assessment, we help drill water wells and construct storage tanks, enabling access to clean drinking water for children in village schools around our factories. The water tanks source water from deep below ground level and the sourced water is stored in hygienic tanks enclosed in a specially designed facilities to preserve the quality of the water. We also conduct periodic water quality checks to ensure safe drinking water, while involving the school and surrounding community through joint ownership of the water tanks, which helps to establish better upkeep and maintenance of the tanks. We have also partnered with Piramal Water (Enable Health Society) for drinking water treatment in locations where groundwater quality does not meet its quality standards. Enable Health Society's top of the line technology with cloud-based remote monitoring systems combined with best-in-class reverse osmosis and filtration units provide real-time data on water quality to ensure delivery of safe water. Sanitation Facilities
In order to ensure availability of basic sanitation facilities, Nestlé India has been sponsoring the construction of sanitation facilities (toilets) for girl students in village schools across all its factory locations. Through this initiative, we endeavour to eliminate what is considered the major cause of dropouts among girl students in village schools. In 2015, we set up sanitation facilities in government schools in Mumbai and Chennai, in addition to factory locations. Till date we have set up over 234 facilities benefitting more than 80,000 girl students. Sanjay Khajuria is Senior Vice-President - Corporate Affairs at Nestlé India.