Mar 20, 2019

Heineken Pledges to Reduce Water Use

Heineken’s 2030 Every Drop strategy has been developed in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal

Heineken’s 2030 Every Drop strategy has been developed in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal
Heineken’s 2030 Every Drop strategy has been developed in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal.

Heineken is pledging to reduce its water usage and replenish and treat all the water it uses for brewing in water stressed areas around the world by 2030.

Heineken currently treats 96.5% of its wastewater worldwide in order to return it to the environment, but has now committed to go further by increasingly reusing treated wastewater in its own operations as well as sharing it with other users.

According to Business Green, Heineken said its 2030 'Every Drop' strategy, had been developed in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal number six, which is dedicated to water protection.

The brewer has pledged to fully balance and replenish every liter of water used in its products from areas that are water-stressed and also work collaboratively with other users of local water resources to protect human health and boost communities.

The brewer also promised to maximize recovery, reuse, and recycling of its water, and to treat 100% of its wastewater worldwide, according to Business Green.

Heineken has also set several targets to reduce its water usage to an average of 3.3 to 2.8 hectolitres for its breweries in water stressed areas, and from 3.5 hectolitres to 3.2 on average for all its breweries worldwide.

According to Business Green, of the 170 breweries the company operates around the world today, 26 are in water-stressed areas. Heineken said it would therefore be developing individual targets for each brewery in these water-stressed areas and prioritizing the most relevant actions for each local watershed.

The brewer said it would also be working with farmers to improve farming practices and test seed varieties that are more drought tolerant and disease resistant, according to Business Green.

Water is of crucial importance to brewing beer, which is made up of 95% water, but simply lowering water usage will not be enough, Heineken said. The brewer urged major water users across different industries to focus more on replenishing the water they use.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Heineken CEO, said the world needed to pay more attention to water.

"Water is a precious, but unfortunately undervalued, resource," Boxmeer said. "By 2025, two thirds of the global population could be living in water-stressed conditions. We need to do more to protect water so communities living in water-stressed areas can continue to thrive."

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