Mark Hillsdon talks to Heineken, Carlsberg and Diageo about how they collaborating on safeguarding watershed health, and focusing on circular economy solutions

Operating in some of the most water-stressed areas of the world poses some severe problems for the drinks and beverage industry, which relies so heavily on a consistent supply of water. But to tap the local watershed, businesses need to maintain a licence to operate, ensure the goodwill of local people and the support of scrutinising NGOs, while at the same time meeting local rules and regulations on issues such as waste water.

While 10 years ago it would have been difficult to make a strong business case for water efficiency, a decade on there are few more pressing issues for the sector than protecting this precious resource. 

Investing in efficiency is often not the most effective watershed health

In the world of brewing, water efficiency is often talked about in terms of the ratio of water used to make a pint of beer. Small independents may still look at a ratio of 10:1, while the world’s mega-breweries are achieving 4:1, with some edging towards the 3:1 mark. 

“We are all trying to drive down the water use in our breweries,” says Willem De Jonge, Heineken’s...

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watersheds  water stress  drinks industry  Diageo  Heineken  carlsberg 

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