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Reducing water wasted in water stressed areas

Water is too precious to waste. We've made a particular priority of reducing water wasted at production sites in water-stressed areas.

This year we built on the findings of a water-stress assessment first conducted in 2008 to re-assess the extent of water stress in areas where our operations are located. By applying United Nations (UN) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development databases and specific site survey methodologies, we designated 12 production sites where we had full operational control for the full year as being located in areas which are ‘water-stressed’, compared to nine in the original 2008 survey. All 12 sites are in Africa. We are developing plans to reduce that stress and risk in a systematic and structured way.

In these water-stressed sites, our goal is to reduce water wasted by 50% by 2015, compared to a 2007 baseline. Our progress this year – an 8.6% reduction from the previous year, contributing to a 14.5% reduction against our 2007 baseline – is the result of a combination of investment in equipment and better practices. For example, at our Kaase brewery in Ghana, where we brew Guinness, investment in a water improvement initiative and the replacement of a pasteuriser improved water efficiencies by 2.4% and reduced absolute water use by 14,000m3. At our brewery in Uganda, our water-use ratio improved by 20% during the year, which resulted in an absolute reduction in water use of 9.5% or 57,000m3, against a backdrop of volume growth.

However, we need to accelerate the rate of improvement if we are to meet our 2015 target. We are optimistic that intensifying our investment in water recovery and water re-use, and improved water conservation at sites in water-stressed areas, will accelerate our progress in 2013. This strategy has already enabled our Kenya Glass and Kenya Maltings facilities to achieve their 2015 targets.

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