Collaborating to drive responsible water stewardship

Hear from David Cutter, President Global Supply and Procurement, this World Water Day


Every year the UN’s World Water Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on past achievements and future challenges. Looking back we should be proud of our commitment to water and what we’ve achieved – including improving our water efficiency in our distilleries and breweries by 40% in the last ten years (led by our water stressed sites in Africa and India), investing in water treatment plants at many of our production sites, and a long term passion for providing access to clean water in so many poverty stricken parts of Africa.

Pouring water at our Talisker Distillery

But our strategy hasn’t stood still – it’s continued to evolve and extend into our broader supply chain – for example we’re piloting programmes to support our smallholder farmers manage their water risk so they can grow their crops to support their families, and we’re looking to partner with water users, collaborating to manage common water risks in vulnerable river basins. We’re absolutely committed to work with others – it’s a central part of our water strategy.

Supporting smallholder farmers

It is a respected corporate water stewardship strategy, but with that comes a responsibility to share our experience and accelerate our advocacy to encourage greater scale and impact by businesses. We’re doing so today with our CEO Ivan Menezes lending his support in a new water risk guide for CEOs published by World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

And to support our work in communities, announced today is our partnership with Metro Cash & Carry, a large customer in Europe, to raise money for WaterAid’s work on providing access to clean water with a donation of 1 euro for every bottle of our brands sold in Metro stores

So we should all recognise World Water Day and take a moment to reflect and celebrate many achievements, but equally we should consider the challenges ahead and identify how we can better collaborate to tackle this enormous global challenge  - we all have a part to play.