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Cervecería Hondureña and WWF sign collaboration agreement

31 March 2009

Reducing water and energy consumption, and ensuring the protection of natural resources, are the objectives of the agreement between Cervecería Hondureña (CHSA) and the WWF global environmental organization.

With this agreement, Cervecería Hondureña and WWF will act together toward optimizing and implementing practices that promote efficient water use and reduce wastewaters from its soft drink and brewing plants. They will also join efforts to develop integrated management of conservation activities in the Chamelecón River basin, and to improve the quality of life in communities in the river's upper basin.

Joint efforts supporting the environment, communities, and a sustainable economy are part of the objectives of this agreement, which publicizes the commitment of Cervecería Hondureña (CHSA) and WWF to work together in protecting natural resources. Water is a vital resource, which is not only integral to conservation but also sustains production, and this agreement promotes responsible water use in production processes, as well as the reduction of polluting waters and sediment accumulation in the Chamelecón River basin.

This initiative is supported by the Coca Cola Company and the USAID Critical Basins of Central America program, as well as by Consejo Empresarial Hondureño para el Desarrollo Sostenible (CEHDES) [Honduran Business Council for Sustainable Development], Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA) [Department of Natural Resources and the Environment] and the mayor's office of San Pedro Sula, which signed as witness of the agreement.

Roberto Álvarez, vice president of corporate affairs of CHSA, stated that the company's commitment to the community and its actions to protect the environment are always a priority. "As a modern, efficient and socially responsible company, we have a proven philosophy of sustainable development and have defined ten priorities for our internal and external actions in favor of the community, the environment and the individual.  Working together with WWF to increase our efficiency, reduce our water use, and ensure the sustainability of the Chamelecón River is both a commitment and a pleasure," concluded Álvarez.

The natural features of the area, with steep mountains and strong rains, highlight the need to ensure the integrity of the upper basins, which, in turn, affect the wellbeing of coral reefs in the ocean. WWF has done various projects in the basins which flow into the ocean, in order to reduce the impact of erosion and industrial and agricultural wastewater on the Mesoamerican Reef marine system.

Sylvia Marín, Director of WWF in Central America, says collaborating with Cervecería Hondureña is an important step to consolidate WWF's work in the region. "WWF believes in the sustainable use of natural resources and avoiding excessive resource use. Working with a business sector that is seriously committed to adopting good practices, which use natural resources in an efficient and sustainable way, is a key part of our work", said Marín.

WWF is partnering with factories to increase the efficiency of water use in industrial processes. Practices to save water during processing and packaging are reducing companies' impact on water resources. Bottling plants that are partners with WWF have already achieved an average of 50% reduction of water use to this date. These practices are significantly reducing the general demand on surface water and underground sources, while simultaneously reducing the drainage of wastewaters into fragile marine and coastal areas of the Mesoamerican Reef.

Cervecería Hondureña is committed to environmental conservation through various activities, including environmental education, reforestation, protection of aquifers, and cleaner production. For two decades, El Vivero has been promoting environmental awareness among youth, providing trees for reforestation, and creating a new forest for the future, where 20 hectares of wood-producing species have already been planted. La Vereda Tropical has created two small reservoirs to feed the aquifer of a stone river, which also provides a recreational space. The bottling plant has an internal energy-saving program and produces 14 megas of energy through biomass, which generate carbon credits.  In addition, the recycling project PET promotes responsible solid waste management on the Isla de Roatán.

WWF is one of the most respected independent conservation organizations worldwide. It has about 5 million members and an active network in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural ecosystems, to build a future where humans live in harmony with nature, to conserve biological diversity in the world and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, and to promote the reduction of pollution and excessive consumption. In the Mesoamerican Reef area, WWF has a more than 10-year history of continuous work with the human and natural communities that inhabit this particular ecosystem, which is of great value to the ecosystem integrity of the planet.

For more information, please contact:

Karla Avila Tel: 225 -1191 in Honduras
Virginia Reyes  (502) 2333-3665 in Guatemala

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