Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Timothy Palmer

Second Advisor

Barcley Johnson

Third Advisor

Beth Ernst


The traditional view of business is that executives have an obligation to base all decisions around increasing the value of the business. But what happens when those decisions infringe on the surrounding environment? In 2017, Nestlé proposed a water withdrawal increase at their Evart, MI water bottling plant from 250 gallons per minute, to 400 gallons per minute. During April 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the new withdrawal proposal; this caused an up roar in the environmental community. From local citizens, to public interest groups, many have expressed their opposition for this increase stating that this increase will decrease the ground water levels and negatively affect wild life. Through the stakeholder theory perspective this thesis examines the different perspectives involved in the decision process and the short and long-term possible consequences of Nestlé decision to increase their water usage.

In conclusion, this thesis, based on stakeholder theory, looks at different groups that would be affected by Nestlé water proposal. There is no way to know how Nestlé prioritizes its stakeholders. The corporation does an extensive job at communicating that all their stakeholders are important, which makes it difficult to tell which group Nestlé believes is most important. There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not Nestlé should or should not pump more water; it all depends on where people fall on the stakeholder spectrum when it comes to the Nestlé water division and corporation.

It is in my professional opinion, that the MDEQ should have denied Nestlé’s water proposal in 2018, and then asked them to re apply again after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality had time to council with the Michigan Environmental Council and the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, to create strict and definite rules and regulations for Nestlé to follow in order to even apply for a permit.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access