Water is a precious resource and we're committed to using water effectively in our production processes and across our sites.

Water scarcity is an increasing challenge in many parts of the world. As the world tackles climate change, our bio-energy demands will exacerbate water demand, meaning many will face water scarcity due to both physical shortages and scarcity in access. 

We use water in a number of our manufacturing processes, and we recognise that in some instances our water demands are in areas of increasing water stress. By improving our water usage we will positively impact the local communities in which we operate, and therefore society more generally.

Our Aspiration Our 2030 Goals

Use water sustainably across our business

  • 30% reduction in water use in high and extremely high stress areas
  • 30% reduction in total water usage

Water intensity

On water intensity, we ended 2021 11% higher verses 2020, driven by business growth and some changes in mix towards more water intensive products.

a. Water from all sources, including process, irrigation and sanitary use. Water consumed is the difference between water withdrawn and treated water returned to the environment.
b. Calculated on constant-currency revenue basis, updated to reflect clarifications and changes in reporting methodology to ensure year-on-year consistency.

Water stress 

Water stress areas are identified as areas with high (40-80%, baseline water-stress level) or extremely high (>80%, baseline water-stress level) stress levels, based on the data from the World Resources Institute, Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Meaning more people are competing for limited supplies.

In 2021, water withdrawal in areas with water stress contributed to 7% of the total water withdrawals of the Group. Approximately 21% of our manufacturing operations are in water stress areas. At the end of 2021, our water use in stressed areas increased by 9%, driven by the growth of the business, but 12% below our 2015 baseline. Water use in these areas consists of water used for processing (48%), sanitary water (41%) and water used for irrigation purposes (11%).

Total water used in stressed areas is 12% below 2015 levels.

Water withdrawal

For total water withdrawal, we are 15% higher than 2020 levels, but 26% below our 2015 baseline. Overall, our water withdrawal increase compared with 2020 is primarily due to an increase in production levels, with all of our manufacturing facilities back in full operation after the impact of the pandemic. We are implementing various water sustainability projects globally.

In São Paulo for example, the team has installed a system to collect rainwater for irrigation which reduces the facility’s dependence on the stretched city water supply.