Did you know, the Global Water Institute estimates that 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030? The United Nations reports that global water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase over the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered.
This week is World Water Week, a moment in time hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute to drive awareness of the challenges and risks impacting the world’s water supply. Here at Kellogg, we believe that water is a human right and one that is under intense pressure as climate change and population growth place greater stress on this valuable natural resource.
As part of our next-generation Kellogg’s® Better Days global purpose platform, we have committed to reducing our water use worldwide, in our business and in the communities where we source the ingredients to make our foods. This includes setting a goal to achieve a 30% normalized reduction in water use in high water risk facilities by the end of 2030.
To help identify the greatest areas of opportunity to reduce our water use, we conduct a global water risk assessment where internal and external experts evaluate water stress levels, regulation, and water usage within our facilities and across our agricultural supply chain. From these assessments, we are able to take unique actions at these sites.
For example, at our Botany, Australia plant, we installed water meters that highlight were water risk issues may exists, such as leaking valves. In doing so, we were able to reduce our water use by 50 percent in just last two years alone. In our Wrexham, U.K. facility, we made improvements in the manufacturing process to reuse cooling water that enabled us to save four million liters of water in 2018. That’s almost the equivalent of filling two Olympic size pools!
Within our agricultural supply chains, we use the Global Water Footprint Network tools to assess risk, as well as research through the University of Minnesota, and the results of our Kellogg Grower Survey to identify opportunities to reduce water use on the farm.
Across our value chain, we continue to work on improving our processes and modifying equipment to further reduce our water use. To date, nine of our facilities have reduced their water use by 20 percent or more and we have completed water reuse projects at 14 percent of our plants. We are proud of our accomplishments, but we know there is a lot more work ahead of us to achieve our goals. You can read more about our water conservation efforts in our 2018/2019 Corporate Responsibility Report.