ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America (with operations in Michigan), will join William McDonough, the world-renowned architect, designer and co-creator of the Cradle to Cradle® framework for ecologically-intelligent design, in delivering today's opening keynote address at the 2010 Net Impact Conference at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Moderated by FORTUNE magazine's Marc Gunther, Jeffery and McDonough will discuss why a sustainable future depends on the design of packaged products and their treatment following consumer use, as well as explore challenges facing the bottled water industry today. They will survey various solutions, such as efforts to reduce plastic ("lightweighting"), use of alternative materials and increased access to recycling at the curbside and in public spaces. The session, titled "From Source to Blue Bin: Extending U.S. Beverage Producer Responsibility," also will highlight the two visionaries' collaboration on projects such as the launch of the re-source spring water brand, which is made with 50 percent recycled plastic.
"For me, extended producer responsibility means that all manufacturers must consider what happens to packaging materials at the end of a product's life, and we must figure out a way to get those materials back, and keep them out of landfills," said Jeffery. "I'm so pleased to be joining Bill to share our sustainability vision with this group of tomorrow's leaders committed to changing the world through business."
Nestle Waters is the parent of West Michigan-based Ice Mountain, which produces a variety of bottled water products for the Midwest market, including the Eco-Shape™ PET bottle. The first of any food and beverage producer in the US to earn LEED™ certification, Ice Mountain recycles 99 percent of all the raw materials used in its production process, including paper, plastic wrap, corrugate, defective materials, and pallets. Ice Mountain employs 250 people in Michigan and opened in May 2002.
Under Jeffery's leadership, Nestle Waters continues to extend its own producer responsibility. Weighing an average of 9.3 grams, the company's next-generation Eco-Shape™ bottle uses 60 percent less plastic than the company's pre-Eco-Shape™ PET bottle, first introduced in the mid-1990s. Additionally, in 2009, Nestle Waters teamed up with Keep America Beautiful to provide "Recycle On The Go" grants to 12 of the organization's affiliates to encourage and empower local communities to make away-from- home recycling more convenient.
"I am honored to be sharing the stage with Kim at the 2010 Net Impact conference," said McDonough, a leader in sustainable development who was recognized by TIME magazine as a "Hero for the Planet." "His efforts to expand producer responsibility within the packaged beverage industry truly set him apart. Through our re-source partnership and our joint vision for the future, I believe we have an innovative and exciting story to share."
Jeffery joins an impressive lineup of keynote speakers including: Gary Hirshberg, chairman, president, and "CE-Yo," Stonyfield Farm; Majora Carter, president, The Majora Carter Group, LLC; Aron Cramer, president and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility; and Susan M. Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company.
The 18th Annual Net Impact Conference, 2020: Vision for a Sustainable Decade, will challenge attendees to envision their role in working towards a sustainable future. The three-day event, taking place October 28-30, 2010, welcomes more than 2,500 professionals, MBA and other students.
About Nestle Waters North America
Central to the leadership of Nestle Waters North America Inc. is its 34-year history and single-focus on producing bottled water products. The company's dedication to product quality, manufacturing expertise, efficient production, employee development and environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has helped Nestle Waters become the number one bottled water company in the U.S. To reach success, the company follows its credo: Respect for each other, respect for the environment, and respect for the community. To learn more, visit www.nestlewatersnorthamerica.com. Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC.
SOURCE Nestle Waters North America