Top brands commit to improve water efficiency

Some of the world’s largest brands have pledged to improve their water efficiency as part of an initiative launched today by sustainability experts WRAP on World Water Day.

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The Courtauld Commitment 2025 Water Ambition will see the likes of Coca-Cola, Tesco and Nestlé reduce the amount of water used in their operations through close monitoring programmes.

In addition, companies signed up to the initiative will support collective action projects in critical water sourcing locations across the UK, improving the quality and availability of supply.

It is hoped that this will then be rolled out to other countries after the UN predicted global demand for fresh water would exceed supply by 40% in 2030 as a result of climate change.

“Water stewardship is an area that none of us can afford to take for granted,” WRAP director, Peter Maddox, said. “Eight of the top 10 countries we import out food from are drought-prone.

“We’ve created a collaborative programme that works on a localised level, dealing directly at source with issues specific within each catchment area. We can assess how individual projects are making a collective difference, and help scale these up.”

Climate change is predicted to cut crop yields by up to 25%, with worsening water quality in lakes, rivers and aquifers due to pollution expected to compound this problem.

WRAP said that 30% of land across the world is already degraded, costing the global economy $300bn (£213bn) annually, with poor water management practices a major contributor to the issue.

Southern Spain, the Western Cape in South Africa, and the Kenyan regions of Naivasha, Nanyuki, Thika and Nairobi, have all being identified as areas with water risks where the Courtauld Commitment 2025 could help.

This would involve improving water security among local communities and for the wider environment, as well as increasing resilience within supply chains.

Arlin Rickard, chief executive of the Rivers Trust, which have partnered with the initiative, commented: “We are all facing growing challenges that seriously impact the quality and availability of water and contribute to the degradation of our soils.

“There has never been a more important time for collaborative action.”

 

Image credit: iStock

 

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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