Today is World Water Day – a day to focus on a natural resource that no one should take for granted.
Our business is dependent on water as the primary ingredient of our products, but it’s also key to the communities that we serve. That’s why we respect its value and work vigorously to conserve it throughout our operations. Marcel Martin, Group Supply Chain Director
Our water strategy & policy
As a result, water stewardship and responsible water use are at the core of our business. We’ve developed a water strategy based on three fundamental principles:-
- Protecting the water resources that supply our facilities by reducing water use and treating waste water to levels that support aquatic life.
- Partnering with suppliers to minimise our water footprint across our entire value chain.
- Investing in community water conservation projects to replenish the water we use.
As a Group, we adhere to publicly available Water Stewardship Policies across our 28 countries, with regular measurement of how much water is utilised, discharged and consumed across our locations. The policy runs through every fibre of our organisation, with each Coca‑Cola Hellenic employee sharing responsibility for its successful implementation.
A long journey of achievements
But this is not new to us. In fact, between 2004 and 2010, we reduced water use in our operations by 20% and we’re now well on track to achieve our 2020 target for a further 30% reduction, with our latest figures showing a 21% reduction since 2010.
Water stewardship certifications for our production plants is another proof-point of our progress, working with the European Water Stewardship (EWS) in Europe and with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) outside of Europe. These standards recognise excellence at every stage of water management, from the protection of water sources to the quality of wastewater released into the environment. Our first EWS certification was achieved in 2013 and the first AWS earlier this year. Our progress to meet this rigorous certification has been rapid, and we’re confident that we can achieve our 100% target for EWS/AWS certification by 2020, with all our European production plants certified by the end of 2018.
Leading the way in our industry
Achieving change requires leadership and we’re proud to have been named the beverage industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in 2017 - for the fourth year in a row. We’ve also achieved an A ranking by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for both climate and water and CDP also recently recognised us as a world leader in sustainability through our supply chain, where sustainable water management is a critical factor.
Water Stewardship is engrained in our business
Water stewardship is so engrained in our business that we require all our countries to include water conservation initiatives in their business plans. This has resulted in a host of community water programmes across our region, partnering with governments, NGOs and other stakeholders. Examples can be seen in the Danube Basin and in Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Italy, where we’ve worked with GWP-Med for a decade. Over the years, we’ve invested over €2.5 million in community water stewardship programmes, reaching more than 20 million people.
Part of the solution, not the problem
As we mark World Water Day 2018, we need to face up to the water challenges that confront us in the 21st century. We’re determined to play our part in ensuring that industry is part of the solution in a water-scarce world, not the problem. We’re extremely proud of our achievements to date and recognise our role as a leader for our sector. However, we also realise that this is just the start of the journey and that there is still a long way to go. We’re committed to staying the course, protecting and sustaining water every step of the way.