Water Stewardship

Water is our most important ingredient, but is also a precious shared resource which is coming under increasing pressure in many parts of the world.

Water is essential to our production processes and used widely throughout our supply chain, especially for the growing of the crops we use; and it is vital to the ecosystems, local economies, and communities in which we work. Managing our impact on water, and being good stewards of this resource, is our highest environmental priority.

The Diageo Water Blueprint defines our strategic approach to water stewardship. It is an integrated approach based on four core areas where we will increase our efforts - in the sourcing of raw materials, in our own operations, within the communities in which we operate, and through local and global advocacy for best practice in water stewardship.

Our strategy has been expanded to encompass the company's broader global supply chain which will enable better understanding and management of Diageo's total impact on water, while focusing on water stressed areas, particularly in emerging markets.

Our operational targets

By 2020, against a 2007 baseline, we aim to:


Reduce water use through a 50% improvement in water use efficiency

We will continue to improve water-use efficiency in our operations through a combination of continuous improvement, operational efficiency projects, and cultural change, aimed at conserving and reusing water wherever possible. We will prioritise sites located in water stressed areas.


Return 100% of waste water from our operations to the environment safely

Measures including sustained investment in effluent treatment plant expansion and upgrades will help us progress towards this target. We will focus our efforts on monitoring wastewater biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) emitted directly into potentially sensitive water receptors, namely inland rivers, where wastewater pollution is less dispersed and where it may have greater environmental impacts on ecosystems or the availability of potable water.


Replenish the amount of water used in our final product in water stressed areas

We recognise that our impact on water stretches beyond our own operations, and we are committed to replenishing water in water stressed areas. This means that where we make our brands in water stressed areas, we will replenish the equivalent amount of water used in our final products – either by putting it back into the local area or into another water stressed area, through projects such as reforestation, wetland recovery, and improved farming techniques.

For more information on our progress against our water targets, please see our Annual Report.

Holistic approach to water helps communities in India

12 August 2016

By focusing on impact and recognising how the issues we deal with are interconnected, we can make contributions where they really count.READ MORE...

Saving water where it is needed most - Brazil

11 August 2015

In the Brazilian state of Ceará, water is precious. The region has been subject to a serious drought, and businesses, including our Ypióca distillery, need to do what they can to help save water.READ MORE...

Related media

Diageo Water Blueprint Download file
15 Apr 2015

Download the Diageo Water Blueprint document

Annual Report 2016 Download file
09 Aug 2016

Annual Report 2016