Suntory increases water sustainability targetsBy Alice Brooker
Suntory Group has doubled its goal to reduce water as part of its 2030 Water Commitments after meeting its previous target 10 years early.
Suntory is increasing its water reduction target, by cutting down on water used in production by 35% globally through water conservation.
The group is also pledging to replenish more than 100% of the water used in at least half of its owned plants by 2030.
“Water is one of nature’s greatest blessings. However, approximately 40% of the global population will suffer from water shortages in the year 2050 due to climate change and population growth. Unless we take action today, our not‐so‐distant future will be threatened,” said Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings.
Currently, the company conserves local water sources at approximately 30% of its owned plants worldwide.
Niinami added: “Suntory believes that we must not only reduce water consumption, but also take action to replenish more than we use in our operations. While we remain committed to responsibly sharing our products with our customers around the world, we must not forget that water is not only vital for our business, but also for all living things.”
The Yamazaki owner met its target of reducing water intensity at its plants by 15% a decade early.
Other targets for 2030 include an aim to collaborate with suppliers to improve water-use efficiency, given the company purchases more than 70% of its ingredients and packaging materials from external groups; and expanding its water education programmes and initiatives to provide safe water access for more than 1 million people.
As of 2020, Suntory had expanded its education programme for nature and water to 290,000 children and teachers globally, and provided safe water to 130,000 people in need.
The Suntory Minami Alps Hakushu Water Plant has also gained a certification for Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), having met the global benchmark for responsible water stewardship. AWS is an international organisation established by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the World Wildlife fund (WWF), to promote water sustainability around the world.
The Hakushu Water Plant is the third of Suntory’s plants to be certified AWS, and is the sole member of AWS in Japan. Last year, Suntory partnered with AWS Asia Pacific to take a leadership role to promote water stewardship in Japan.
In October 2021, Beam Suntory and its parent company, Suntory Holdings, pledged more than US$4 million to restore 1,300 hectares of peatlands by 2030.
The Yamazaki owner also committed to sourcing all of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022, as part of a 100 billion yen (US$900 million) investment.