Water Resources at MillerCoors

Water Resources

Water is a significant part of every stage of our business, from the barley field to the brewery to the bottle. The availability of quality fresh water is critical not only to MillerCoors, but also the communities we serve. For the long-term success of our business, our communities and the environment, we strive to tap our water resources sustainably.

Every day MillerCoors finds new ways to brew more beer using less water.  During the month of September we celebrate Great Water Month to share our commitment in securing the future of water within our community.  Join us and learn how we conserve water in our Sustainable Development Report, take the “Water Conservation Challenge,” and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see the great things we have on tap!

Strategy for Preserving Our Most Essential Ingredient

Great beer requires great water. To help protect our most essential ingredient, we have established a five-part water stewardship strategy:

Water Footprinting

Given that water is the main ingredient in beer and is necessary to grow many of the ingredients needed to brew beer, we need to have a complete understanding of our water use. We are working to understand our full water “footprint” — how, when and where we use water in our business and supply chain.
Water is used to grow crops, brew beer, clean equipment, produce packaging materials, generate energy and chill beer. We found that more than 95 percent of the water used to produce beer comes from the agricultural supply chain. For this reason, in 2011, we began analyzing more closely how water is used in growing grains to make our beers. We are focusing on key ingredients — barley and hops — and researching new strategies to reduce water usage in our agricultural supply chain.

Learn about our water-saving techniques on our Showcase Barley Farm.

Watershed Assessments

Water is a finite resource, and the availability of quality water is critical to the sustainability of MillerCoors. We have evaluated the eight watersheds that serve our largest breweries to better understand the physical, regulatory and social factors that affect our long-term access to quality water. Based on our evaluation, we found that the watersheds serving our Irwindale, Fort Worth and Golden Breweries pose the highest water supply challenges. Now we are working with our suppliers and other stakeholders to reduce future water-related risks at the watersheds serving these locations.

U.N. Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate

Our parent companies, SABMiller plc and Molson Coors, agreed to uphold the U.N. Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. The CEO Water Mandate is an initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. The mandate focuses on six elements: direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency. Our five-part water stewardship strategy supports the elements outlined in the CEO Water Mandate.

Learn about the U.N. Global Compact and other external sustainability initiatives.