We are increasingly addressing water stewardship in the context of the “water-energy-food nexus”—the inextricable connections among resources that demand a 360-degree perspective and an integrated approach. Through our work with the World Resource Institute’s Aqueduct project, the 2030 Water Resource Group, and other efforts, we support initiatives that take a balanced approach and build synergies as they seek to equally ensure water, energy and food security for everyone.
Already, many of our water projects are helping communities mitigate and adapt to the impacts associated with the intersections of water, energy, and food. For example, some projects increase the ability of watersheds to absorb threats associated with increasingly severe weather events and help build resilience in response to the higher demands for water, energy, and food. Others focus on increasing crop yields to meet the needs of a growing population while reducing the impacts on water sources through water body alterations, aquifer recharge, rainwater harvesting and more. And we are assisting in efforts to reduce energy demands by promoting local water sources that eliminate the need to treat and transport water, which is energy intensive.
Also, we have extended our water stewardship efforts beyond our bottling plants and local water sources to our agricultural supply chain, one of the largest in the world. Because embedded water associated with our products is much greater at the farm than in our own operations, we are helping our suppliers improve efficiency and reduce their water use. Some examples of our work to date:
- As a member of Bonsucro, we have worked with peer companies, sugarcane producers and nongovernmental organizations to implement the first global metric standard for more sustainable sugarcane production.
- Through our Coca-Cola Foundation, we provide financial support to Project Catalyst, which promotes farmer-driven innovations that reduce pesticide and fertilizer runoff into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and the freshwater catchments that drain into it.
- We are partnering with EARTH University and our supplier, TicoFrut, to promote sustainable citrus production in Costa Rica.
- In the United States, we are collaborating with multiple partners to help farmers and ranchers use water more efficiently, with the aim of improving flow and water quality in rivers in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi and Utah.
- We are working in partnership with Cargill Incorporated, and WWF on a sustainable corn project intended to improve the livelihoods of farmers and protect biodiversity by improving yields, reducing waste, conserving water, protecting wetlands and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture in Jilin Province, China.
In all, we have contributed to sustainable agriculture initiatives in 25 countries, helping farmers protect water, increase crop yields and reduce environmental impacts. And we plan to do more.
An important priority for the
company going forward is to work with major suppliers, retail customers and
commercial partners to help advance their water management and optimize their
water efficiency in the context of the water-food-energy nexus.
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