In 2007, the organisers of World Water Week faced heavy criticism and protest actions for allowing Nestle to sponsor the conference and for serving bottled water to the participants. For this year's edition of World Water Week, the organisers have skipped the bottled water, but Nestle again features as the prime sponsor of the event.
Swedish public television STV earlier this week reported on the controversy around Nestle's sponsorship, featuring an interview with America Vera Zavala of ATTAC Sweden. Zavala asks how the organisers of World Water Week could allow a corporation with such a problematic record and such clear interests in expanding unsustainable bottled water consumption to sponsor the conference. Watch the interview with America Vera Zavala and reactions from the World Water Week organisers as well as Nestle here (in Swedish).
The STV website also features a short article about these issues: "Kritik mot sponsor av vattenveckan". Here is a rough translation:
Critique of sponsor World Water Week
Criticism is voiced from several sides against World Water Week, which is taking place in Stockholm. The event is sponsored by Nestle, the world's biggets producer of bottled water, which has caused anger in the alterglobalist movement, among others. America Vera Zavala of Attac Sweden says it is problematic that the organisers link up with a corporation that has such clear interests. World Water Week's manager Andes Berntell had some understanding for the critique but says it is better to communicate with large firms than to exclude them. Nestle rejects the critique and highlights that the firm has reduced its water consumption and CO2 emissions in recent years. Nestle Vice-President Jose Lopez claims it is only 0,0009% of Nestle's water use that eventually is consumed in the form of bottled water.