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SABMiller refreshes water sources in India

28 June 2010

SABMiller, one of the world's leading brewers, has embarked upon an innovative watershed management project near its Rochees brewery in India.

The Rochees brewery is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, an area which is at risk of significant water stress. The project is one of the steps being taken by SABMiller India to mitigate the potential long term water scarcity risks for the community and the brewery operations.

The project primarily aims to recharge the ground source of water by capturing rain water which would normally simply evaporate or run off. The initiative covers about thirty villages in a radius of seven km around the brewery and is currently the largest in this region. Three recharge structures have been constructed in a wasteland area to allow the rain to naturally soak back into the water table, thereby recharging it. It is anticipated that these structures will replace approximately three hundred million litres of water a year - the same amount as that extracted by the brewery over the same period.  Work is now taking place to identify more sites which support natural recharge and where such structures can potentially be constructed.

Taking a multi-stakeholder approach the project is involving industries and farmers and is being conducted in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and its partner organisation the Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management. It also demonstrates best practices in resource management by the surrounding industries and farming communities.

Ari Mervis, Managing Director of SABMiller Asia, said: "Our ten sustainable development priorities have identified those environmental and societal changes that have the potential to impact on our business. Water scarcity in any region is a shared risk and therefore we believe that we must take a multi-stakeholder, value chain approach to ensure that the responsibility is also shared."

At the very beginning of the Rochees project, studies established an outline water balance for the region so that a substantial engagement with the community could be based on empirical findings.

Notes to editors

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie.  SABMiller is also one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, the group reported US$3,803 million adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$26,350 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Ten Priorities. One Future. Through our Ten Priorities for sustainable development, SABMiller will make a difference both locally and globally to enhance the One Future that we all share. A robust approach to sustainable development underpins our ability to grow and our licence to operate. Furthermore a well-managed growing business is good for wider economic development, leading to greater employment and  investment in local economies and communities.

Bianca Shevlin
Corporate media relations manager
SABMiller plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 0172

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