World’s biggest brewer tackling global water security through new partnerships with WWF and TNC
Water security is one of the most complicated—and crucial—issues facing the world. These partnerships are designed to solve problems at the scale of the challenges faced and at the speed at which they are growing, signalling a significant step in accelerating water source protection worldwide.
“The need to take action on global water security is now. More than just a key ingredient in our beer, water is a critical resource for the economic, social and environmental well-being of the countries where we operate and the communities where we live,” said Andre Fourie, Global Director of Water Sustainability at AB InBev.
“Earlier in 2018 AB InBev announced a new set of 2025 sustainability goals, which include a progressive commitment to measurable improvement in water quality and availability in high risk communities. We are deeply aware that these issues cannot be tackled alone. That’s why we are entering into critical partnerships that will demonstrate impact on a global scale, at the pace that is needed.”
AB InBev’s partnership with WWF in Bolivia and a number of African countries including South Africa and Zambia builds on previous successful collaborations that involved water risk assessments and the development of influential reports, for example highlighting the value of water to the economy.
Together, WWF and AB InBev will develop blended finance approaches to encourage private sector investment at the scale required to improve water access and quality, enhance the health of river basins, and ensure the needs of local communities are met. For example, in the Kafue Flats wetlands in Zambia, the partnership will deliver financing projects to address the current pressures on the landscape.
“AB InBev has been at the forefront of water stewardship over the past decade, assessing water risks to their operations, setting targets and engaging beyond their factory fence: our new partnership will drive even greater collective action that will benefit economies and ecosystems,” said Stuart Orr, WWF Lead Freshwater Practice. “We will never achieve the SDGs without harnessing the power of partnerships: AB InBev’s work with WWF and TNC is a great example of how to do this.”
The first phase of the TNC global partnership will focus on Latin America with the development of four new Water Funds in Colombia, El Salvador, Argentina and Mexico. These initiatives will unite public, private and civil society stakeholders around the common goal of contributing to water security through nature-based solutions and sustainable watershed management. In addition to improved water security, benefits for communities will include improved agriculture, job creation and climate resilience.
The partnership represents a critical step in TNC’s efforts to scale up the creation of Water Funds, contributing to the pilot of the Water Funds Accelerator. For example, one partnership in Jaguariúna in Brazil will fund conservation practices such as the installation of terraces, improvement of rural roads, ecological restoration through reforestation and protecting of existing forests.
Andrea Erickson, Global Managing Director of Water at TNC said, “The scale of the challenges we face and the speed at which they are growing require innovation and evolution in our alliances. This partnership with AB InBev builds on our shared vision of a water secure future: where people, commerce and nature all have reliable, equitable access to clean water. We hope it will inspire other companies to incorporate nature-based solutions into their water stewardship endeavours.”
AB InBev’s sustainability work reflects the company’s commitment to build a company to last for the next 100+ years. For more information on Water Stewardship and AB InBev’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, aligning to The UN Sustainable Development Goals, visit www.ab-inbev.com/sustainability