On 11 August 2021, Heineken announced that they have achieved its 2030 target on Water Stewardship 10 years ahead of time.
The Water Stewardship includes brewer’s Ever Drop program and W.A.T.E.R Project in partnership between Heineken’s CSR arm, SPARK Foundation and Global Environment Centre (GEC) since 2007.
“Every Drop” is HEINEKEN’s strategy aimed at protecting the health of watersheds holistically, using a triangular approach that integrates Water Stewardship to fully balance the water used in its products. Through Water Efficiency, the brewery has achieved the balance of 1.5 litres for every 1 litre of water, taking into consideration the water retention in spent grain. The Water Circularity approach ensures that 100% of wastewater is treated whilst maximising opportunities to reuse and recycle.
Roland Bala, Managing Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia, said, “Water is central to Heineken and indeed a precious resource that is essential to all life. Our efforts in protecting our water resources over the years have enabled us to fully balance water used to brew our beers and ciders. … We are proud to reach this milestone 10 years ahead of our global 2030 commitment, and we will continue investing in science-based Water Stewardship initiatives for the long term to ensure the sustainability of our watershed.”
Through the partnership with GEC, five initiatives have been rolled out throughout the years which saw a 267% achievement above their water balancing target in 2020. These initiatives are:
- Rehabilitation of Sungai Way river, an urban river in an urban industrial zone, resulting in the improvement of the river’s water quality from Class IV – V (extremely polluted, not suitable for living organisms) to Class III (suitable for living organisms)
- Construction of a 305-metre clay dyke at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve that stores up to 136.1 million litres of water annually, contributing to the long term sustainability of Sungai Selangor
- Installation of over 1,000 water thimbles for more than 500 households in the Klang Valley, which resulted in water savings of 19 litres per capita per day on average
- Installation of 16 rainwater harvesting systems for communities in Selangor, thus providing them with an alternative water source and reduce reliance on treated water for non-potable usage as well as relieving pressure on our water resources
- Reforestation of one hectare of degraded peatland at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve, which reduces the risk of peat fires and increases the peatland’s water table, contributing to the health of Sungai Air Hitam within the Sungai Selangor watershed
Renuka Indrarajah, Corporate Affairs and Legal Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia, said, “Water is not an infinite resource. Water scarcity, wastage and pollution are real issues that confront the world and as a responsible brewer, we want to do our part to protect our watersheds. … We call upon other industries to start looking into sustainable water management practices. With collective action, we can be part of the solution to safeguard the sustainability of water supply for all.”
Dr. Kalithasan Kailasam, Manager for the RIVER Care Programme of GEC, said, “… GEC together SPARK Foundation have embarked on three phases of W.A.T.E.R project since 2007. We started with education of communities and rehabilitation of rivers. Now we are looking into holistic water management which is water stewardship through smart partnerships. Water stewardship emphasises on the need focus on social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth.”
HEINEKEN Malaysia’s Water Balancing Report 2020 is available to the public here. Companies or organisations interested in collaborating on water stewardship initiatives are encouraged to reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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