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Making more beer but using less water


The issues

By 2050, the world will need to grow and process 70% more food in order to feed a global population of nine billion1. Agriculture accounts for 70% of freshwater consumption today and by 2030 demand for water is predicted to outstrip supply by approximately 40%. In a world with a finite amount of land and water and a changing climate, it's clear that businesses must adapt, and soon.

Water, food and energy are interconnected. We need water to grow food and to generate energy; we need energy to grow food and to treat and move water; and we need land (and, in the case of biofuels, crops) to produce energy. We cannot manage these three resources in isolation as the availability of each affects the availability of the others. This interconnectedness is often called the water-food-energy nexus.

Why this is a priority

Water scarcity is a potentially significant risk to parts of our business, along with some of the communities in which we operate. We aim to work collaboratively to protect the watersheds that we share with local communities and on which we and they depend.

Within our breweries, we aim to use water as efficiently as possible and have set ourselves the demanding target of reducing our water use per hectolitre of beer by 25% between 2008 and 2015.

On its own, resource efficiency within our operations is not enough to safeguard the resources we need for our businesses. We are using our understanding of risk, our global scale and existing relationships with stakeholders, particularly governments and NGOs, to mobilise partnerships to improve our understanding of the shared water challenges we face, enabling us to make better management decisions and provide a platform to share knowledge.

Water Futures Report: Beyond 2012

The report highlights the latest achievements of the Water Futures Partnership and explains its plans for the future.

Download the Water Futures Report: Beyond 2012 PDF (1.64Mb)

Front page of the Water Futures Report: Beyond 2012

Charting our Water Future

Report from the 2030 Water Resource Group, of which SABMiller is a member, exploring how water scarcity risks may be mitigated.

Download the Charting our water future report PDF (5.71Mb)

Charting our water future report