Building resilience to the world’s water crisis through collective action

This article is sponsored by Keurig Dr Pepper.

Water is vital to the beverage industry and it is a vital natural resource for operations and products. It is also a shared resource – important to the health of the communities and ecosystems that depend on it.

The watershed has become very stressed in recent years due to severe droughts, wildfires and extreme weather patterns. According to the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate (“Mandate”), freshwater supply shortages of 56% are projected over the next decade, threatening the environment, communities, businesses and the global economy.

As a beverage company, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has a unique opportunity to develop and implement leading solutions to local and global water challenges, ultimately building climate resilience. To celebrate World Water Day, KDP announced its aspiration to achieve a net positive water impact by 2050 and joined the Water Resilience Coalition (WRC).

The WRC is an industry-driven empowerment coalition that aims to raise global water stress to the top of corporate agendas and protect the world’s freshwater resources through collective action and ambitious, quantifiable commitments. In joining the WRC, KDP has expanded its existing mandated membership and joined forces with other like-minded and action-oriented companies from across the globe to tackle the world’s water crisis.

Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer at Keurig Dr Pepper, said: “Our desire to have a net positive impact on water by 2050 reflects our long-term commitment to leadership and collective action to protect water as a vital natural resource. “This ambition builds on our existing water commitments at all levels of the value chain.”

In the company’s operations, KDP has pledged to increase water efficiency by 20 percent by 2025. And, in high-risk water communities where it operates, the company recruits partners to support its commitment to replenish at least 100% of its water consumption. Beverages produced at these locations. In fact, as a result of a recent water risk assessment, KDP expanded the number of communities within its target range, thus extending the target’s time frame to 2030.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a long-term partner. Together, KDP and TNC are executing a lease agreement for 444 million liters of water in the Trinity River Basin in Texas to restore environmental flows during severe droughts, which will benefit fish, wildlife habitat and all downstream uses​​​ Household. KDP is also working with 10 organizations through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to improve water supply reliability through projects with the Colorado River Indian Tribe. The project supports conservation efforts to support falling Lake Mead water levels while enhancing water security. In addition, KDP has teamed up with the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable on its first watershed collaboration to address water challenges shared by the Mexican state of Jalisco, and has partnered with more than 25 leading NGOs and companies to Protect California’s water resources in the following ways by the California Water Action Partnership.

To further protect the farm’s water resources, regenerative farming practices are a key driver in protecting, restoring and managing the raw materials that go into the company’s beverages. KDP recently committed to supporting regenerative agriculture and conservation on 250,000 acres by 2030, 50 percent of the land used to grow its top climate-sensitive crops. KDP works extensively with its partners and coffee farmers around the world to actively promote a positive impact on agricultural water use, and the company is expanding these efforts to U.S. apple and corn crops.

For example, KDP has partnered with Catholic Relief Services of Central America’s Blue Harvest program to save more than 131 million liters of water through infrastructure upgrades and new water management practices, improving water supply to more than 145,000 people since 2014.

By partnering with local groups with a vested interest in protecting water resources on field conservation projects, KDP ensures that work is comprehensive, grounded in scientific understanding and locally relevant. This, in turn, has long-term effects on the watershed, which are critical for maintaining healthy ecosystems and enhancing climate resilience.

The watershed is in danger, but with urgent collective action, the world’s water crisis can be alleviated. Working with members of the WRC and aspired to achieve clean water by 2050, KDP not only furthers its commitments globally, but also through collective action with some of the world’s largest companies. This natural resource, vital to all businesses, ecosystems and communities around the world, can be protected together.

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