As a food company, we have a responsibility – to consumers, the planet, and future generations – to protect our natural resources in the face of climate change and growing environmental pressures like water scarcity.
In our CSR Report and video, we discussed Cultivating a Responsible Food System and how water use is a key metric as a pillar of our overall Sustainability Strategy. High-quality freshwater is a critical element of cultivating crops, as an ingredient in our products, and as a component in our manufacturing process. We also know that because water is a finite natural resource – with nearly 90% of all consumed freshwater being used to grow food – the choices we make can have a big impact on the global water supply.
That’s why we’ve expanded our commitment to responsible agricultural water use through a new partnership – the Ag Water Challenge, a collaborative initiative organized by nonprofit organizations Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). As part of the Challenge, we’ve worked with Ceres and WWF to assess our water risks in agricultural supply chains and set new commitments in water stewardship.
These commitments include:
• Developing a road map to agricultural water stewardship that addresses shared water challenges facing our key commodities (dairy, soy, almond and produce, specifically) in areas of greatest risk; and
• Engaging in policy advocacy to strengthen water management in our priority sourcing regions, including the Colorado River system and California.
And while we’ve already made great progress in reducing water use in our facilities and across our supply chain, the AgWater Challenge is an important way to continue these efforts and further influence global agricultural water use beyond our own four walls.