Stamford, Conn. (November 9, 2010)– On October 29, Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, joined William McDonough, the world-renowned architect, designer and co-creator of the Cradle to Cradle® framework for ecologically-intelligent design, in delivering the opening keynote address at the 2010 Net Impact Conference at the University of Michigan’s Ross School in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Moderated by FORTUNE magazine’s Marc Gunther, Jeffery and McDonough discussed why a sustainable future depends on the design of packaged products and their treatment following consumer use, and explored challenges facing the bottled water industry today. They surveyed various solutions, such as efforts to reduce plastic (“lightweighting”), use of alternative materials and increased access to recycling at the curbside and in public spaces. The session, titled “From Source to Blue Bin: Extending U.S. Beverage Producer Responsibility,” also highlighted the two visionaries’ collaboration on projects such as the launch of the re-source spring water brand, which is made with 50 percent recycled plastic.
“For me, extended producer responsibility means that all manufacturers must consider what happens to packaging materials at the end of a product’s life, and we must figure out a way to get those materials back, and use them again,” said Jeffery. “It was a privilege joining Bill to share our sustainability vision with this group of tomorrow’s leaders committed to changing the world through business.”
Under Jeffery’s leadership, Nestlé Waters continues to extend its own producer responsibility. Weighing an average of 9.3 grams, the company’s next-generation Eco-Shape™ bottle uses 60 percent less plastic than the company’s pre-Eco-Shape™ PET bottle, first introduced in the mid-1990s. Nestlé Waters’ Michigan Ice Mountain bottling plant was the first of any food and beverage producer in the country to earn U.S. Green Building Council LEED™ certification in 2002. Today, the company has nine LEED™ certified plants, leading the industry in green building design and construction.
Additionally, in 2009, Nestlé Waters teamed up with Keep America Beautiful to provide “Recycle On The Go” grants to 12 of the organization’s affiliates to encourage and empower local communities to make away-from-home recycling more convenient.
“For decades, policymakers have supported bottle deposit laws to prompt beverage recycling,” said Jeffery. “While these laws generate high recycling rates for the bottled beverage industry, they're not expandable to other items, because Americans cannot possibly bring all our used packaging back to where it was sold. Grocery stores are simply not meant to be recycling centers.”
In addition to McDonough, Jeffery joined an impressive lineup of keynote speakers including: Gary Hirshberg, chairman, president, and “CE-Yo,” Stonyfield Farm; Majora Carter, president, The Majora Carter Group, LLC; Aron Cramer, president and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility; and Susan M. Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company.
“I was honored to share the stage with Kim at the 2010 Net Impact conference,” said McDonough, a leader in sustainable development who was recognized by TIME magazine as a “Hero for the Planet.” “His efforts to expand producer responsibility within the packaged beverage industry truly set him apart. Through our re-source partnership and our joint vision for the future, I believe we had an innovative and exciting story to share.”
The 18th Annual Net Impact Conference, 2020: Vision for a Sustainable Decade, challenged attendees to envision their role in working toward a sustainable future. The three-day event took place October 28-30, 2010, and welcomed more than 2,500 professionals, MBA and other students.
About Nestlé Waters North America
Central to the leadership of Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is its 34-year history and single-focus on producing bottled water products. The company’s dedication to product quality, manufacturing expertise, efficient production, employee development and environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has helped Nestlé Waters become the number one bottled water company in the U.S. To reach success, the company follows its credo: Respect for each other, respect for the environment, and respect for the community.To learn more, visit www.nestlewatersnorthamerica.com. Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC.