Water is key to life... and business.
We commit to decrease water use by 20% across Kraft Heinz manufacturing facilities in high-risk water areas and by 15% across all manufacturing facilities by 2025.
Water Use & Conservation
Making high-quality products requires that we begin with high-quality ingredients of which fresh quality water is a key input. Kraft Heinz is committed to water stewardship in every facet of our business, from our quality controls to the relationships we have with our growers and suppliers. As a food and beverage company, having access to sufficient amounts of quality fresh water, both now and in the future, is critical to our business.
Water is used in many areas of our value chain. It is a vital input for growing various agricultural ingredients we use in our products. We also use water as a direct ingredient in many of our products and as a key utility in our manufacturing, cleaning and sanitation processes. Access to high-quality water is pivotal for us to achieve our high standards of food safety and quality. Highquality water will continue to be a vital component throughout our value chain.
Working with partners like Nalco Water (an Ecolab Company), we are able to identify areas of opportunity in our manufacturing processes to optimize water use. For instance, at our Newberry, South Carolina, plant, which produces a portion of our iconic Oscar Mayer products, we launched a large effluent water recycling project in 2019. The project made it possible to leverage our dissolved air flotation system to cool our vacuum pump seals, eliminating the need to use our intakes for more local, fresh water. As a result, we save approximately 86 million gallons of water every year at the Newberry plant, with an annual net cost reduction of around $500,000. To help conceptualize the scale of the water savings, imagine a standard backyard swimming pool uniformly about 10-feet deep throughout. Now increase the size of that pool to about the same size of a standard soccer field, still 10-feet deep throughout. Now increase the number of soccer filled-sized swimming pools connected to each other to 60. All of the water, 10-feet deep, into that volume represents roughly the amount of water savings, every year, we were able to achieve with this project with our partners.
Through our partnership with Ecolab since 2017, we have been able to identify and implement approximately 30 water conservation opportunities globally. These water reuse, cleaning efficiency and optimization projects are saving more than 115 million gallons of water every year, with an estimated almost $1 million in annual cost reduction.
Water Risk Assessment
In early 2018, we completed a water risk assessment of our global manufacturing operations. This work was completed in partnership with a leading provider of water resource expertise to the food and beverage sector who is also certified by CDP. The assessment leveraged both WRI’s (World Resources Institute) Aqueduct data and methodology along with the subject matter expertise of our consulting partner. We then evaluated our watershed conditions from a business perspective in order to validate ‘economic scarcity’ factors not fully addressed by the database indicators. The completed assessment resulted in identification of physical, reputational/social and quality water risks, as well as composite scores for each area associated in our direct manufacturing operations. We were able to identify manufacturing sites experiencing water stress conditions. Roughly 22 percent of our present facilities (we currently own 17 of the 76 sites evaluated) have some degree of water stress related to the risk areas. We have developed a plan that focuses on the high-risk water areas to drive improvements and mitigate risks, and to provide updates into our risk evaluation on an ongoing basis.
Official Signatory to the CEO Water Mandate
The Kraft Heinz Company is proud to announce that it is an official signatory to the CEO Water Mandate as of September 2020. Water is vital to all life and to business. We recognize the significant role we can play as a global food manufacturer in our own operations and through our supply chain in being good water stewards. As we continue to assess and improve in this critical area to our business, in collaboration with various stakeholders throughout the value chain, we look forward to reporting out on our future plans and benchmarks related to our additional water stewardship initiatives. Learn more at the CEO Water Mandate website.