Caring for water
Water is the planet’s most precious resource: access to clean water is a fundamental human right and water is essential for our operations and supply chain. That’s why protecting and preserving the water resources we share with others is a major priority for us.
Creating shared value...
By protecting shared water resources today, we ensure their sustainability for future generations.
For our business
Protecting resources ensures the strength of our business for years to come.
Why it matters
As the climate changes, water-related issues will continue to grow in importance. While this is a global issue, the impacts are felt on a very local level, with droughts in some localities and flooding in others. Farmers rely on water to grow the crops we source for our ingredients, making water-related risks a critical issue for us – one that we want to leverage our resources to alleviate.
The uneven distribution of water availability worldwide is compounded by demographic changes such as population growth and urbanization. These factors are putting increasing strain on available water sources, with only 7 in 10 people able to access safely managed drinking water services and 4 in 10 having access to safely managed sanitation services (WHO/Unicef).
Preserving water resources is not something one company can do alone. Reducing strain on water requires the collaboration of a range of partners, from suppliers to governments and civil society. To target our actions, we launched in 2018 a flagship initiative, Caring for Water. It is mandatory in every country where we operate. We have created a playbook that outlines all the tools and information needed to implement and deliver on water stewardship as a company. Our efforts are externally reviewed, and we received a score of 100 in the Water-Related Risks section of the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
We are driving change within our operations, investing in technologies to improve the water efficiency of our manufacturing processes. However, our efforts do not stop at our own operations. We engage actively with suppliers, stakeholders and local communities to develop and implement collective actions to address water scarcity. In 2019, we extended an existing partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to bring drinking water infrastructure to more communities in the Ashanti and Eastern regions of Ghana.
Caring for Water
By 2030, the global demand for water will exceed supply by 40% (UN Environment). Through our flagship Caring for Water initiative, we are addressing the issue in four areas:
- Agricultural supply chains.
Our work to protect and preserve water contributes to SDGs 3, 6, 9, 12, 14 and 17.