DENR partnership in search for sustainable, eco-friendly schools

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Nestlé Philippines have entered once again into a partnership for the 2019 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.

Nestlé will sponsor the Nestlé Water Leadership Awards (NWLA), one of three special categories of the Search which will be conducted by the DENR, the Department of Education, and the Commission on Higher Education.

An agreement on the partnership was signed by Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna, DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations and Supervising Undersecretary for the Environmental Management Bureau, and Atty. Ernesto S. Mascenon, Nestlé Philippines SVP and Head of Corporate Affairs.

“I am very happy to note that from the time we launched the Search in 2009, this recognition program for schools has continued to grow. Through activities such as this, schools are given the opportunity to be recognized for their valuable efforts in implementing environment-related programs,” said Atty. Cuna. “With their efforts properly documented and highlighted, schools can learn and adopt from the eco-friendly practices of other schools. This, we believe, can effectively spread the gains of living an environmentally-sustainable lifestyle.

“Also by providing direct support activities such as the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools and the Nestlé Water Leadership Awards, we are creating long-lasting behavioral solutions to the problems of Manila Bay, Boracay, other eco-tourism destinations, and the overall environmental and climate challenges of the country,” Atty. Cuna said.

The NWLA, launched in 2013, is a biennial program which encourages and recognizes schools with exemplary initiatives in water conservation, efficiency, and protection. The main criteria are based on the implementation of Deming’s Cycle of Continuous Improvement (Plan-Do-Check-Act), ISO 14001, and ISO 14004. By way of recognition, cash awards are provided to national and regional winners at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels. 

“As an integral part of its business, Nestlé Philippines engages with society by addressing issues and concerns in the areas of nutrition, water and environment, and rural development, where it is best able to make a positive difference,” Atty. Mascenon said.

“Water security is a global issue, and we at Nestle believe that collaboration is key to protecting this shared resource for the future.  We continue to work with DENR to protect and preserve water resources. Nestlé’s participation in the Search through the NWLA is one of our Caring for Water initiatives demonstrating our commitment to water resource management and sanitation.  For decades, Nestlé has engaged in initiatives to minimize and optimize water consumption, treat wastewater, and protect water sources starting with our factories. We have made substantial investments over the years in our facilities, while advocating sustainable water consumption and encouraging environmental sustainability,” added Atty. Mascenon

“The objective of the NWLA is to foster awareness amongst students and schools of the value of water conservation and proper stewardship of our water resources.  Through the Search, we hope to encourage students and school administrators to be creative in identifying ways of caring for water resources, to increase their love for the environment,” he said.