In addition to saving water in our own plants, we are dedicated to enhancing water access and security for people and ecosystems across our markets through watershed restoration and conservation programs. In 2016, we continued to scale our water stewardship efforts by engaging in watershed protection partnerships with local stakeholders, focusing on high stress areas across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the United States and Zambia. Together with local authorities, other water users and NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), we invested financial and technical resources into green infrastructure initiatives, conservation and reforestation projects, habitat restoration efforts and soil conservation techniques. Through these initiatives, we are increasing water security and improving water quality and availability for our communities and operations.
Moving into 2017, in partnership with TNC, we are planning to launch a new watershed protection program in Mexico that will finance important conservation and restoration efforts in the water basin that supports Mexico City, one of the most stressed ones in the world.
We know we do not have all the answers, which is why we constantly seek feedback on our approach. Our water initiatives are guided by a Technical Advisory Committee made up of experts on watersheds, water systems and sustainable agriculture. This group supports our strategy development and execution and provides feedback on the economic, environmental and social impacts of our initiatives. In 2016, the group reviewed our water risk methodology and approach to partnerships with a view to strengthen our programs in 2017, building on best practice from both AB InBev and SABMiller.
Watershed protection in action
South Africa: Partnering to protect
Our team helps lead the Strategic Water Partnership Network, a national public-private partnership in South Africa, dedicated to closing the projected 17% gap between water supply and demand in the country by 2030. We’ve supported various projects, including the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme, to best track water usage data and improve crop management.
Brazil: SAVEh online water management tool
We partnered with NGOs, the Carbon Trust, Fundación Avina and the UN Global Compact to create SAVEh, an online platform that helps small- and medium-sized companies in Brazil identify which areas of the business impact their water consumption and allows them to customize and improve their water management.
Brazil: Projeto Bacias
Projeto Bacias, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC),
aims to better manage important Brazilian water basins and improve the
quality and quantity of available water.
India: Reducing water risk
Managing water scarcity is a key priority in India where demand exceeds supply and quality is declining. The root of the problem is in agricultural water use, so, with partners, we have worked with more than 18,000 farmers beyond our value chain to reduce water use while increasing productivity and income. We aim to demonstrate best farming and water management practices that can be replicated and scaled by others, including government, to make a meaningful impact on India’s water scarcity challenge.