Water Challenge: Nestle Chairman Keynotes UVA World Water Events With Plea for Global Action
By Dave Hendrick
Peter Brabeck has held many roles in his nearly 50-year career at the global food giant Nestlé, rising in the ranks from salesman to chairman and CEO.
Having relinquished the CEO title in 2008, Brabeck now increasingly plays the role of water activist, warning of a looming global water crisis without coordinated action from government, business and citizens.
Speaking at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business at a Leadership Speaker Series event and as part of a series of events around World Water Day at UVA, Brabeck advocated for a future in which water is given its proper value and adequate safeguards are put in place to ensure the responsible and sustainable use of a stressed resource.
Brabeck, who is chair of the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private partnership focused on water resources and reform, and the leader of the World Economic Forum Water Initiative, reiterated his belief that water represented a human right for drinking and sanitation, but needed to be more properly valued when pertaining to the 98.5 percent of the world’s freshwater supply not used for those two basic needs.
In addition to advocating for action to address the world’s water challenges at a global level, Brabeck noted various initiatives Nestlé has undertaken to reduce its water consumption, such as transforming a milk factory in Modesto, California, into a “zero water” factory, saving what the company projects as 63 million gallons of water a year.
Hear more from Brabeck in his Darden Ideas to Action C-Suite Insights interview with Dean Scott Beardsley.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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