Our Priorities: Water
In November 2009, SABMiller and WWF launched Water Futures, a global partnership for tackling water scarcity.
The partnership, which is part funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), acting on behalf of the Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, builds on existing work undertaken by SABMiller and WWF in South Africa, Colombia, Honduras and El Salvador.
The partnership will examine new approaches to water management, particularly developing a robust approach to evaluating water risks throughout SABMiller's value chain and sharing best practice throughout the business's global operations on how to tackle these risks. Work has already begun in Peru, Tanzania, South Africa and Ukraine. The partnership will also seek to share the lessons learnt with other stakeholders to promote better management of water across the world.
On the Water Futures partnership, Dr David Tickner, Head of Freshwater Programmes at WWF-UK says:
"Increasingly, WWF hears companies talk about the business risk from water scarcity. These risks are shared with other water users and with ecosystems, and our view is that they are best addressed by stakeholders working together. SABMiller has a similar approach so it was a natural step for WWF to join the company in partnership.
We try to find ways in which companies can benefit in moving from business models that are environmentally unsound to approaches which actively promote sustainability. SABMiller is already on this journey with ambitious targets in place to improve its water efficiency. The company shows a clear understanding of water issues that only a handful of multinationals have demonstrated.
Following from this, WWF is keen to communicate the business benefits of good water stewardship to other companies. Other businesses may listen to a respected organisation such as WWF when we talk about water. But they will almost certainly listen to two respected organisations, WWF and SABMiller, when we have a common message. The benefits to WWF come from a blue-chip multinational company demonstrating to the wider world that such an approach makes good business sense.
Working with SABMiller is a very valuable part of our efforts to improve the way water is managed across the world. We're making good progress towards our early objectives thanks to the investment of time and energy on both sides. The key test for the partnership will be whether SABMiller subsidiaries invest further resources in watershed protection actions in the future. Our partnership is working well and I fully expect us to achieve improvements on the ground that will benefit SABMiller's business and the environment."
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