More than just a key ingredient in our beer, water is a critical resource for the economic, social and environmental well-being of the countries and communities where we live and work. Water security is one of the most complicated—and crucial—issues facing the world, yet 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.* Today, as part of our ongoing commitment to accelerate global water security measures, we are announcing global water security partnerships with two world-leading NGOs, that we see as an important step in creating industry-defining partnerships.
These new global partnerships with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), will set us on the right path to achieve our 2025 water goal - achieving 100% of our communities in high-stress areas to have measurably improved water availability and quality - and at the same time, will spearhead a movement that will accelerate water source protection worldwide.
The first phase of the TNC global partnership will see the development of up to four new water funds in Latin America, as well as two projects in the US. Water Funds ultimately enhance financial and governance mechanisms of water supply, uniting public, private and civil society stakeholders around a common goal and contributing to water security through nature-based solutions and sustainable watershed management.
Our partnership with WWF in Bolivia and four African countries builds on a previous successful collaboration, which helped to transform corporate attitudes to water globally through influential reports and championing water risk assessments. Together WWF and AB InBev will develop blended finance approaches to encourage the investment at the scale required to improve water access and quality, enhance the health of river basins, and ensure the needs of local communities are met.
Today at the Financial Times Water Summit in London, Andres Fourie, our Global Director of Water spoke on a panel to reinforce the need to take action, as well as the critical need for public private partnerships that will enable change and demonstrate impact on a global scale, at the pace that is needed.
The announcement was supported by Andrea Erickson, Global Managing Director of Water at TNC who said; “The scale of the challenges we face and the speed at which they are growing require innovation and evolution in our alliances. This partnership with AB InBev builds on our shared vision of a water secure future: where people, commerce and nature all have reliable, equitable access to clean water. We hope it will inspire other companies to incorporate nature-based solutions into their water stewardship endeavours.”
Stuart Orr, WWF Lead Freshwater Practice echoed this message of support saying, “AB InBev has been at the forefront of water stewardship over the past decade, assessing water risks to their operations, setting targets and engaging beyond their factory fence: our new partnership will drive even greater collective action that will benefit economies and ecosystems. We will never achieve the SDGs without harnessing the power of partnerships: AB InBev's work with WWF and TNC is a great example of how to do this.”
Our ultimate goal is to ensure water access and quality for both our communities and our breweries, so we can continue to build a company to last, for the next 100+ years.