Welcome to Conservation Gateway

The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Water Stewardship: Good for Business. Good for Society.

Pepsico
10/19/2010
link DOWNLOAD FILE: DOWNLOAD FILE (2,503K)

No resource is more vital to humanity than water. Yet supplies of safe water are shrinking as demand for it is on the rise. Today, 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by hundreds of major bodies of water. But less than three percent is fresh water — the rest is seawater.1

About one billion people are currently without access to clean drinking water, according to a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report.2 Many of the world’s governments have identified access to clean water as one of the key building blocks to ending global poverty.

While clean, available water is becoming more scarce, the planet’s thirst for it is only increasing. The global population is growing and existing populations are migrating, putting even more stress on supplies.

At the same time, a sufficient supply of safe water is essential for businesses to operate. A recent report on water risk published by Ceres, a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups that work with companies to address sustainability challenges, states, “Our global economy runs on water Fresh water powers industrial production, is the essential ingredient in many products, and is perhaps the most important natural resource for human survival.”3

At PepsiCo, we are particularly aware of our responsibility, because water is fundamental to our ability to operate efficiently. Water stewardship is a central part of “Performance with Purpose”— our mission to deliver sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet. In 2007, PepsiCo set a global goal to reduce water consumption by 20 percent per unit of production by 2015. To date, the company has achieved a more than 15 percent improvement in water use efficiency as compared with our 2006 baseline.

We believe we have constructed a solid foundation, but recognize we have much more to do in order to achieve our ambitious water goals. This report details how seriously we take our responsibilities as water stewards, and the steps we are taking to fulfill those responsibilities.

In April 2010, we unveiled a new set of global goals organized around a straightforward premise: We will respect the human right to water through world-class efficiency in our operations, preserving water resources and enabling access to safe water. Specifically, we have committed to:

  • IMPROVING our water use efficiency by 20 percent per unit of production by 2015;
  • STRIVING for “positive water balance” in our operations in water-distressed areas; and
  • PROVIDING access to safe water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015.

We are working hard to reach these goals by minimizing the impact our business has on the environment and collaborating with industry peers, governments, academia, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and communities.

¹ “Learn about the Water Crisis.” Water.org. 2010. www.water.org/learn-about-the-watercrisis/facts/
² “World Population to Exceed 9 billion by 2050.” United Nations. March 11, 2009.
³ “Murky Waters: Corporate Reporting on Water Risk.” Ceres. February 2010.

GO BACK »