POLAND — Poland Spring, part of the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) family, today 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 – recognition of the company’s advanced-level water stewardship efforts in the state. With these certifications, the Poland Spring factories are the only sites in the state of Maine that have been certified under the rigorous AWS Standard.

AWS is a global collaboration of member businesses, non-governmental organizations and public sector groups, which is committed to helping to conserve local water resources through the adoption and promotion of a universal framework for the sustainable use of water. The AWS Standard is the first, comprehensive, global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, cultural, environmental and economic criteria.

“Poland Spring is one of very few brands in the world whose production sites are all certified to the AWS standard. These new certified sites are a milestone for both AWS and for Nestlé Waters North America,” said Matt Howard, Director for AWS North America. “Nestlé Waters North America serves as a model to other companies showing that water stewardship is good business.”

These AWS certifications acknowledge Poland Spring’s water stewardship and community engagement efforts, in addition to its longstanding efforts to increase water efficiency, engage with a broad spectrum of water-related entities, and continue to strengthen relationships in the communities where it operates. Extensive engagement with key, water-related stakeholders, such as water agencies, NGOs, public officials and community members, is important and helps identify opportunities to take water stewardship actions that are beneficial to local communities.

“As our most iconic brand, we are extremely proud that all our Poland Spring factories have received AWS certification and that our Maine sites have been recognized for going above and beyond,” said David Tulauskas, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer for NWNA. “The AWS Platinum certifications awarded in Maine confirm our extensive history of water stewardship and giving back to the Maine communities in which we operate. We continue to work to achieve certification at more of our sites nationwide and encourage other businesses to do the same.”

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 well 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.

“This prestigious certification recognizes what the Collaborative appreciates about source water protection efforts at Poland Spring,” said Emily Greene, Outreach Coordinator for the Saco Watershed Collaborative. “They know what we know: healthy water is derived from healthy forests, shoreland buffers, wetlands, aquifers, small streams, lakes and ponds, and rivers.”

Poland Spring’s AWS Platinum certifications in Maine recognize the positive contributions to their respective catchments, including best practice examples of community engagement, participating in water, sanitation and health (WASH) education outreach, providing water donations to local food banks and emergency relief efforts. Over the summer and fall of 2020, when parts of Maine experienced extreme drought conditions, Poland Spring activated its Memorandum of Understanding with Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). This meant that, at MEMA’s request and in keeping with its commitment to Maine communities, Poland Spring provided bottled water to aid in relief efforts.

As part of Poland Spring’s commitment to advancing education initiatives that help to teach the next generation of water stewards, Poland Spring has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships since 2007 to graduating Maine seniors through its Good Science Scholarship program. Additionally, since 2001, Poland Spring has provided more than a million dollars to The Ecology School, a residential ecology education center for people of all ages. This translates to more than 16,000 students receiving 370,000 hours of science instruction, including water quality testing and learning about the importance of recycling and healthy eating. In 2020, the company was proud to announce increased support of the school, with $500,000 to create the Poland Spring Education and Dining Commons on the school’s new campus in Saco, Maine.

With the addition of the Poland Spring certifications, NWNA now has 14 sites in the U.S. that are certified under the AWS Standard, demonstrating its continued progress to certify all of its sites to the AWS Standard by 2025. NWNA was the first and remains the only bottled water company to receive AWS certification.

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