Poland Spring Factories in Maine Achieve Highest Level of Water Stewardship Certification

(Credit: Poland Spring)

by | Dec 4, 2020

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(Credit: Poland Spring)

Poland Spring, part of the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) family, recently announced that all of its factories have received certification under the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard. Poland Spring’s Maine factories are located in Poland, Kingfield, and Hollis, all of which have achieved the highest level of certification: Platinum.

The platinum certification recognizes the company’s advanced-level water stewardship efforts in the state. With these certifications, Poland Spring says its factories are the only sites in the state of Maine that have been certified under the AWS Standard.

As part of the certification process, Poland Spring’s sites were evaluated on the steps taken to improve water quality and quantity at the source. NWNA actively manages forests surrounding the springs to help improve wildlife habitat and forest health to ensure long-term sustainability of the springs and the ecosystems in which they belong.

Achieving a Platinum rating involves moving beyond Core AWS requirements and having significant and positive impact on the region. Among these efforts are the Maine sites’ dedication to collecting and sharing data with the community. For 14 years, NWNA has monitored the depth and water content of the snowpack in Maine and supplied the data from its geographically dispersed sites to the Maine Geological Survey to upload to its public database — Maine Cooperative Snow Survey. The data has helped the state better predict spring flood risks from its rivers and streams.

Poland Spring’s community engagement efforts in Maine also extend to a leading role in creating and sustaining a collaborative process across the Saco River watershed, which spans over 1,700 square miles in New Hampshire and Maine. The Saco River Watershed Collaborative brings together a broad spectrum of stakeholders to advance key goals. In this case, the goals are watershed protection, protection of water resources, data inventory and water stewardship education.

In August, NWNA announced that its Ontario, California water bottling site had become the first food and beverage factory in the world to earn Platinum certification under the AWS Standard. Nestlé Waters became the first company of any type to achieve this advanced certification in North America.

The AWS Standard is the first, comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, cultural, environmental, and economic criteria. As part of the AWS certification process, independent auditors look at a number of factors within the watersheds where sites are located, such as water quality, water quantity, and the health of important water-related areas. Extensive engagement with key, water-related stakeholders, such as water agencies, NGOs, public officials, and community members, is important to identify opportunities and ensure the water stewardship actions are beneficial to local communities. Achieving a Platinum rating involves moving well beyond Core AWS requirements and having significant and positive regional impacts. Independent auditors from California-based SCS Global Services conducted the AWS assessment, and determined that the Ontario site’s actions represented best practice and truly advanced-level efforts.

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