There’s no question that water is vital to us all. The responsibility to conserve and protect the quality of our water supply falls not only on each of us as individuals, but also on the corporate community. As a global brewer, Molson Coors is no exception. We can’t make great beer without great water.

Considering the increasing stressors on the finite supply of water, it’s more critical than ever that corporate water users understand their water use and risk while making every effort to be good stewards of each drop used.

For us at Molson Coors, this means we are diligent about using less water as we brew our beer. We also treat the water we use so we can return up to three-fourths of it to the watersheds we share with our communities.  We’ve set a global target to reduce water use by 15 percent per unit of production by the end of 2012 (for a 4.4 hL of water to 1 hL of beer average ratio). 

Among the many significant conservation and water stewardship practices we’ve implemented – and strongly advocate for all companies – transparent reporting and watershed community engagement are most critical.

Transparent Reporting

Transparent reporting allows internal and external audiences to measure the effectiveness of a company’s practices. It’s also important as companies begin to report that we compare apples to apples. That’s why the independent not-for-profit organization Carbon Disclosure Project began the Water Disclosure Project in 2010. Today, more than 3,000 organizations in some 60 countries around the world measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water management and climate change strategies through a unified reporting tool.

The 2010 Water Disclosure Global Report, of which Molson Coors was a founding partner, represented 137 companies with assets of $16 trillion. In this report, we noted that Molson Coors improved water efficiency by 8 percent since 2008, saving over 12,000,000 hL of water. That’s enough water to supply more than 500 homes for one year! These water-efficiency improvements also saved the company $896,000.

 

Watershed Community Engagement

With over a century of experience in water management, we believe Molson Coors is in a unique position to make a significant difference by sharing this expertise with our brewing partners, suppliers, local communities and other water stakeholders.

Engaging with local stakeholders to promote sustainable fresh water for all users in a watershed is a critical piece of watershed management. In places like Golden, Colorado and Tadcaster, England for example, we’ve been instrumental in creating community forums to protect local watersheds.

As a beer company, we strive to delight the world’s beer drinkers with our brands, but we also have a role to play in engaging and educating consumers on water issues. We designate September as our global Water Stewardship Month for employees. This year, we’ll be extending our outreach to consumers as well because everyone has a role to play in protecting fresh water for the generations to come.

Mike Glade is the Director of Water Resources for Molson Coors Brewing Company. When he’s not managing fresh water for the brewer, he’s wading in it to go fishing. You can follow him on Twitter where he posts as @Water_Mike.