Its ‘Every Drop’ water ambitions – developed in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal – aims to maximise water circularity in water stressed areas through recovery, reuse and recycling and treat all of its wastewater worldwide.
Heineken currently treats 96.5% of its wastewater worldwide, returning it clean to the environment – it now plans to increase reusing treated wastewater in its own operations and share treated water with other users.
It says water is crucial to brewing beer, as it is made up of 95% water.
It has also committed to reducing water usage to an average of 2.8 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer (hl/hl)– from 3.2hl/hl – for breweries in water stressed areas and from 3.5hl/hl to 3.2hl/hl on average for all breweries worldwide by 2030.
The company is already undertaking water balancing programmes in several water stressed areas – it is investing in rainwater harvesting projects in Malaysia to help communities save water and in Indonesia, it works with employees and communities to install “bipori” holes, which are narrow, meter-deep pits dug into the soil and filled with vegetables and compost material.
By slowing rainwater runoff, the biopori holes preserve water and prevent flooding.
Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board/CEO of Heineken said: “The world needs to pay more attention to water. Water is a precious but unfortunately undervalued resource.
“By 2025, two thirds of the global population could be living in water-stressed conditions. We need to do more to protect water so communities living in water-stressed areas can continue to thrive.”