Nineteen companies participated in this study, providing information about nearly 1,500 global facilities’ water and energy use. Although the study doesn’t name the 19 companies, beverage giants including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Diageo, Miller Coors, AB InBev, New Belgium Brewing and Fetzer Vineyards are all BEIR member companies.
The 2016 benchmarking study includes water and energy data from 2011, 2013 and 2015. Of the facilities that provided all three years of data, 71 percent achieved an improvement in water-use ratio and 64 percent reduced their energy use.
Facilities reduced their water use by improving the efficiency of their processes and equipment used, the report says.
In earlier interviews, BIER member companies shared their water reduction strategies with Environmental Leader.
For example PepsiCo, which reduced its operational water use in 2016 per unit of production by 26 percent, against a 2006 baseline, has also pledged to improve the water use efficiency of its direct manufacturing operations by 25 percent by 2025, using 2015 as a baseline. Additionally, the company committed to improve the water-use efficiency of its direct agricultural supply chain by 15 percent compared to 2015 in high-water-risk sourcing areas by 2025.
Roberta Barbieri, PepsiCo VP global water and environmental solutions, told Environmental Leader that PepsiCo will achieve its new manufacturing water targets “through a comprehensive approach to water stewardship at the plant level, including reusing treated process water through recovery and reuse systems, monitoring and fixing leaks in our plants, and leveraging technology.”
And, Coca-Cola, which now uses 1.98 liters of water to make 1 liter of product and is working to reduce it to 1.7 liters of water per liter of product by 2020, started with the “low-hanging fruit” like fixing leaks, Greg Koch, global head of water stewardship, told Environmental Leader. It has now moved on to optimizing and, in some cases, eliminating water used in manufacturing processes.
This includes using ionized air instead of water to “rinse” beverage packages before filling them with product and using dry lubrication to move bottles along conveyor belts. Coca-Cola also treats and reuses water for some manufacturing processes and to wash its delivery trucks.
In the future, BIER says it plans to work with member companies on carbon emissions data to improve the quality and depth of data collected for future benchmarks.