The Nestle Waters North America, Inc. bottling facility located in Madison County, Fla., has now become the first manufacturing facility in the state of Florida to be awarded the Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Three other food and beverage manufacturing facilities nationwide to achieve the LEED Silver Certification are also Nestle Waters facilities: one in Texas, bottling the Ozarka Natural Spring Water brand; one in California, bottling the Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand; and a Tennessee facility, bottling the Nestle Pure Life brand. A fifth Nestle Waters plant, located in Michigan, also has received LEED certification, bringing the company to just under 2 million sq ft of green-building space.
Developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED promotes a national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings that protect the environment. LEED certification recognizes innovative building designs that are environmentally responsible business models for energy efficiency and resource conservation. According to the USGBC, it is a significant achievement to receive LEED certification for an industrial facility.
“By constructing its new manufacturing facilities to LEED standards, Nestle Waters has demonstrated a strong commitment to the green building program—and to the long-term goals of conserving energy and protecting the environment,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The Nestle Waters model is one we hope other industries will follow.”
When Nestle Waters began plans for its newest facilities, the company committed to construction and operational practices that respect the environment, conserve resources and create the smallest “footprint” possible. The LEED program provides standards by which this commitment can be measured and quantified.
According to Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America, Inc., achieving the green building standards at its facilities was difficult, but the decision to do so was not.
“In today’s business environment, consumers—and employees—have come to expect more from companies like ours. Gone are the days when we can make gestures toward the environment; our actions have to match our words,” he said. “We understood from the beginning that going for LEED certification would mean additional effort and expense, but the payoff is upholding our commitment to environmental integrity in our operations.”
Some of the environmental highlights of the Nestle Waters Madison Bottling Facility included: recycling of more than 75% of construction waste materials; use of 50% of wood from sustainably managed forests; use of natural light in all critical viewing areas; and landscaping with vegetation native to northern Florida.
To achieve one of four possible LEED ratings—Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum—a project must earn a predetermined number of points from a detailed checklist of environmental features. Although the ratings for office structures have been in place since inception of the program, industrial buildings have only recently become LEED certified in the last few years.
The Nestle Waters bottling facility in Madison County has been in operation since January of 2004. The facility currently has 646,000 sq ft under roof and employs 200 people. It is one of only nine LEED-certified facilities in the entire state. The others include residential, office and retail structures.
In addition, NWNA eliminated 245 million pounds of plastic per year from its bottles over the past decade, and developed clear, light-weight caps to remove over one million pounds of plastic from our waste streams in 2006.