Water is both a major ingredient of our brands and an important component in our production processes. Therefore we must work to preserve the water sources we rely on, particularly in water-stressed regions, and monitor the quality of the water we return to source.
Performance against targets
The table below sets out our 2015 targets, against a 2007 baseline. Commentary on each follows the table.
|This year’s performance |
2010 - 2011
2007 – 2011
|Improvement of 3.0%
||Improvement of 15.8%
|Reduction of 5.6%
||Reduction of 9.0%
|Increase of 31.3%
||Increase of 25.6%
1. Improve water efficiency by 30%
Water efficiency improved by 15.8% against our 2007 baseline, with an improvement of 3.0% in 2011. Our improvement was driven by:
- Investments in water recovery at East Africa Maltings which improved water efficiency by 36.1% since the 2007 baseline
- The replacement of reverse osmosis filters and the installation of rinser recovery systems in the Americas. In Plainfield, USA a water recovery system has saved 2.3 million gallons of water per year.
- The closure of the Port Dundas distillery in Scotland and the subsequent volume transfer to a more efficient site
- Introduction of line lube systems, laser printers replacing labels and keg consolidations.
Improving water efficiency is a collaborative effort. We invest in technology and monitor where and how we use water. We will also continue to engage the skills, knowledge and commitment of our employees in saving water.
2. Reduce water wasted at water-stressed sites by 50%
Water wasted at water-stressed sites decreased by 9.0% from our 2007 baseline, with a reduction of 5.6% in the past year.
While we have worked on establishing the infrastructure to maximise efficiencies in water-stressed sites, the improvement compared to last year (from 3.62M m3 to 3.48M m3) was driven mostly by water recovery initiatives at Kenya Maltings and Kenya glass and data capture improvements at sites in Africa.
Nevertheless, we are encouraged by what we have learned at all nine of our water-stressed sites in the US, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines and Uganda. We are investing in water treatment and recovery systems, along with more targeted water conservation and employee engagement efforts.
In Nairobi, Kenya, where three of our nine water-stressed sites are located, an effluent treatment and water recovery plant at the glass manufacturing site has reduced water use by 80%. Early water footprinting of our Tusker Beer brand, which is produced in Kenya, revealed the complexities of the issues, especially given our broad range of products and activities. We recycle the water used for humidification in the germination stage of the maltings process, which saves 12% of the site’s water use each year.
3. Reduce the polluting power of wastewater by 60%, measured in biological oxygen demand (BOD)
The polluting power of wastewater increased by 25.6% against our 2007 baseline, with an increase of 31.3% in the past year.
This year BOD increased from 30.1 BODkt to 39.6 BODkt. The increase was a result of planned increases of production in Europe as well as improved data capture at some sites in Nigeria and Ghana.
While we are disappointed with increase in BOD, we expect our progress to improve significantly in the coming years, as the majority of our BOD impact comes from one site – Cameronbridge distillery in Scotland – where we are building a bioenergy plant which will reduce the BOD load. Cameronbridge distillery is responsible for 68% of our total wastewater BOD, and we expect this to fall by around 90%. We anticipate that this will bring us very close to our 60% reduction target.
There are already some encouraging results in different parts of the world. In St Croix, US Virgin Islands, we opened a new rum distillery in December 2010. Water is a significant issue for the area, and before we began construction we made assurances that wastewater from distillation would be purer than the water from the surrounding area. Now 90% of all fresh water used in the distillation process is recycled.
Of the total volume of wastewater that we discharge globally:
- 42% gets treated at our own treatment plants
- 31% gets treated through municipal facilities
- A further 3% of our wastewater is used as fertiliser on agricultural land
- 25% of our wastewater flows untreated under permit into water bodies, usually to the sea. The impact of these outflows is measured by environmental authorities.