Nestle: 3 things to do NOW to save face
When California’s drought caused a huge water crisis across the state, Nestle started facing endless waves of negative PR when they continued their water bottling operation within the area in need. The company’s situation has only gotten worse since, but there are a few changes they could make to help boost their brand image.
1. Halt national forest pumping
Nestle was hit with some bad PR when it was found out in October that they have been pumping water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest with an expired permit. While the permit was part of the problem, many were upset that they were hurting the environment in a national forest so that they could get an extra 25 million gallons of water a year.
“The ecosystem in San Bernardino forest is being harmed,” said Eddie Kurtz, the executive director of the Courage Campaign Institute. “It’s not an environment that can afford to send its water to Nestle to profit off of.”
If Nestle were to put an end to the pumping of San Bernardino’s water, it would show that they care about the safety of the forest. They would lose millions of gallons of water each year by making the decision to halt their siphoning of national forest water. However, Nestle could use this as an opportunity to show that they are willing to slow down their water bottling operation during the California drought.
2. Relocate bottling operation
When the drought started having a huge effect on California, Starbucks announced that they would move their bottling operation for Ethos water out of the state. Many looked at Nestle to do the same, but instead they continued to bottle their yearly 705 million gallons of water in California.
Thousands of protesters in the state called for Nestle to follow Starbucks’ lead in May, but they still refused to do so. While it’s been five months since they chose not to relocate, it could still help Nestle’s image to change their mind. Making this decision would show the residents of California that Nestle is willing to change for the greater good, and that they want to help those facing hard times during the water crisis.
3. Promote eco-friendly practices
In May, Nestle announced that they were putting $7 million into technology at their Modesto milk factory that could save 63 million gallons of water each year. This news was announced during their original PR disaster, but not much has been said on the topic since. Many people are upset that the company hasn’t been using Eco-friendly methods, so further promoting this could do some good.
While they’re developing methods to recycle water, they could also invest in Eco-friendly bottles to reduce plastic waste. Coca-Cola has been developing a bottle made partially of plants that helps leave a smaller footprint on the planet. If Nestle were to produce a similar bottle for their Arrowhead brand water, they might obtain a more environmentally conscious image.
Are these steps enough for Nestle to repair their image? What else could Nestle do to help during their PR crisis? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.