CDP (formerly the Climate Disclosure Project) – a global organization for data-driven solutions to climate change and related environmental threats, opportunities and impacts – has acknowledged AB InBev’s efforts on water stewardship across its global operations. This November in Brussels we accepted CDP’s 2018 Europe Water Award, highlighting our determination to reduce water usage across its value chain as a best practice amongst the continent’s major corporations towards a low-carbon, zero-deforested and water secured economy.
According to CDP’s 2017 Global Water Report, companies are waking up to the importance of a focus on water with a reported 193% increase in private sector action related to water stewardship. Business is commended on leading the way to a water-secured world, a possibility that is in sight through dedication to responsible use of one of our world’s most precious resources. But stewardship alone could not be enough.
As the world’s No. 1 brewer, we at AB InBev embrace water throughout its value chain. More than just a key ingredient in our beer, water is a critical resource for the economic, social, and environmental well-being of our communities. ‘We recognize the need to act as a responsible steward of water in the areas where we operate, in addition to brewing beer at the highest level of water efficiency possible’, said Juan Rodriguez, our Global Environmental Director, on accepting the award.
A scarce, unreliable or unsafe resource in many parts of the world - water scarcity already affects more than 40% of the global population, according to the UN 2016. We act in two ways to turn this around. First, we work hard to improve internal water efficiencies in all our breweries around the world. We’re able to make these improvements because we focus on onsite water efficiency processes and technology, such as waste water reuse and closed loop vacuum pumps on fillers.
Second, we understand that simply reducing our own water use does not always reduce the risk of water scarcity – a risk which we share with the local community. That is why we are committed to enhancing water access and protecting ecosystems across our markets through watershed restoration and conservation programs together with both local partners and global NGOs such as WWF and The Nature Conservancy.
In addition to this work, we are mobilizing a global movement for water access with consumers. Our “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign in 2015 – in partnership with the leading NGO Water.org – has already benefited more than one million people. Our expanded ambition is to provide access to safe water to 3.5 million people in the developing world by 2020, significantly increasing our impact to date.
“As the world’s leading brewer, the environment – and particularly water – is of utmost importance to us,” re-emphasized Rodriguez, “but of course, we know that more needs to be done.” Recognitions such as this CDP Water Award inspire us to continue to work for shared water prosperity, in collaboration with local communities and partners. We look forward to continuing to bring people together for a Better World.