There is an immediate need for more businesses to recognize the risks water scarcity poses to their company’s bottom line and the communities in which they operate in Latin America, according to SABMiller Peru Managing Director Fernando Zavala.
Speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Forum, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Mr Zavala stressed the increasing risks water scarcity poses to business and society, while also talking about the economic, social and environmental benefits of tackling climate change and investing in water security in the region.
More than 70% of the global brewer’s business is in developing markets, many of which already suffer from water scarcity.
Through its new sustainable development strategy, Prosper, SABMiller has set itself demanding targets to reduce water use and its carbon footprint throughout its whole value chain, from grain to glass. Now it is calling other businesses in the region to do the same.
Leading a closed VIP Roundtable with leaders from NGOs, multilaterals, government and other businesses on water scarcity today, Mr Zavala said: “Investing in the security of water in Latin America isn’t just an environmental issue – it’s a very real business risk, and an investment which contributes to our profits. It is in our interest to work with other businesses, local communities, and governments to tackle shared water risks in the region to secure and replenish the water basins we all depend on.”
Mr Zavala highlighted Latin America’s water challenges, a region which accounts for one-third of SABMiller’s profits – as a pertinent case study: “While abundant, water is often in the wrong place throughout Latin America, in areas of low population density. In Lima, for example, the 2nd driest city after Cairo, Egypt, nearly 15% of the population has no access to the water network and depends on more expensive ways of obtaining water. In Peru, like in our other markets, we are committed to growing sustainably – water security has become an important element of our work.”
In July 2014, SABMiller announced the launch of a new sustainable development strategy, Prosper, which laid out a set of ambitious new sustainability targets to achieve by 2020.
The 2020 targets set out how SABMiller plans to address five ‘shared imperatives’ – big challenges that SABMiller believes are shared by society, business and government. The company seeks to address them both locally and internationally in partnership with suppliers, customers, consumers and communities.
Securing shared water resources for SABMiller’s business and local communities is one of the five shared imperatives.
By 2020, SABMiller has pledged to:
– Secure the water supplies they share with local communities through partnerships to tackle shared water risks
– Further reduce water use to 3.0 litres of water per litre of beer and 1.8 litres of water per litre of soft drink
– Have programmes in place to mitigate shared water risks for our key crop origins at risk
– Reduce our carbon footprint of our value chain by 25% per litre of beer, and 50% across all breweries
About SABMiller and Latin America
– SABMiller’s sales rose 7% in Latin America, the company’s biggest region which accounts for one third of profit (half-year results October 2014)
– It is the number one brewer by market share in all of the six countries in the region, rising as high as 96% in Peru
– SABMiller just recently announced its re-entry into Brazil next year. The country represents 42% of beers sales on the entire continent
– Unión de Cervecerías Peruanas Backus y Johnston S.A.A., is the leader of the brewing industry in Peru
– It has 5 production plants located in Lima decentralized beer (Ate), Arequipa, Cusco, Pucallpa and Motupe; plus a Maltería and mineral water plant
– It has a portfolio of well segmented national and international brands looking to meet consumers in more than 180,000 outlets throughout the country
Note: The above was taken from an official press release