Brewing beer and saving lives

Three days in Davos

Highlighting the risks of water scarcity

Making the business case for tackling the effects of water scarcity and climate change in Latin America during the UN Climate Change negotiations in Lima

Water scarcity poses increasing risks to business and society. By investing in water security and tackling climate change, companies will see economic, social and environmental benefits as well as an improvement on their bottom lines. This is according to Fernando Zavala, President of our Peruvian subsidiary, who was speaking on a panel at the UNEP-sponsored Sustainable Innovation Forum at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima during COP20 last month. 

As a case in point Fernando highlighted the water challenges in Latin America, a region which accounts for one-third of SABMiller’s profits: “While abundant, water is often in the wrong place throughout Latin America, in areas of low population density. In Lima, for example, the second driest city after Cairo, Egypt, nearly 15% of the population has no access to the water network and depends on more expensive ways of obtaining water."

In Peru, like in our other markets, we are committed to growing sustainability and water security has become an important element of our work.
Fernando Zavala | President, Backus y Johnston

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was started twenty years ago in 1994 with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Conference of the Parties (COP) was designated as the supreme governing body of the Convention and today 195 countries meet once a year to evaluate the application of the Convention and develop new commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

This year’s COP20 was highlighted as an important point in the climate agenda because of the Post 2015 Agenda taking effect next year. High level attendees such as John Kerry, Felipe Calderon, Ban Ki-Moon, Paul Polman, Mary Robsinson, Christina Figuires, and Acheim Steiner spoke during the week. 

Held in conjunction with COP20, the Sustainable Innovation Forum is an opportunity for stakeholders to share knowledge, technologies and expertise, and identify innovative solutions to the challenges faced by climate change and a growing population.

In July 2014 we announced the launch of a new sustainable development strategy, Prosper, which set out demanding sustainability targets for us to achieve by 2020. These targets address five ‘shared imperatives’ – big challenges that we believe are shared by society, business and government. Securing shared water resources for our business and local communities is one of the five shared imperatives and by 2020 we have pledged to:

  • Secure the water supplies we share with local communities through partnerships to tackle shared water risks
  • Further reduce water use to 3.0 litres of water per litre of beer and 1.8 litres of water per litre of soft drink
  • Have programmes in place to mitigate shared water risks for our key crop origins at risk
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our value chain by 25% per litre of beer, and 50% across all breweries

To find out more about Prosper and our five shared imperatives, please click here


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