Nestlé USA recently announced its Modesto, CA-based Carnation facility was recently certified under the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard. According to the announcement, the facility is the first dairy facility in the United States to receive such a certification.
The AWS Standard is a global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, cultural, environmental and economic criteria. As part of the certification process, independent auditors assess a facility's performance metrics on water quantity and quality, water sources within the catchment, as well as stakeholder engagement process.
The Carnation facility uses a "water positive" process to make evaporated milk. Developed in 2018, the facility sources fresh milk from family dairy farms to make its evaporated milk. As part of that process, which includes removing water the milk, the facility treats and reuses a portion of that water in cleaning processes and the balance is made available to the community. According to the company, the Modesto plant returned more than 70 million gallons of water to the watershed in 2020.