High-quality water is critical to MillerCoors at every point in our value chain, from the barley and hops fields to the bottling line. We are committed to using water resources sustainably both in our agricultural supply chain and in our breweries, to ensure we have access to this important resource for years to come.
Our 2020 goals and three-part water stewardship strategy focus on the long-term sustainability of our most essential ingredient:
- Efficient Water Use in Our Breweries: Continue to reduce our water-to-beer ratio across all our direct operations to achieve an average ratio of 3.0:1.0.
- Sustainable Brewery Watersheds: Restore a volume of water equal to the final product volume from our breweries located in water-stressed watersheds, through stewardship projects that directly contribute to the sustainability of the local water resources.
- Resilient Agricultural Supply Chain: Expand our sustainability programs to manage and reduce agricultural resource risks, including water risks, in 100 percent of our key barley-growing regions.
Pledge to Conserve
I pledge to look at my own personal water use and determine where I can conserve water.
PLEDGE TO CONSERVE
Thanks for taking the pledge to conserve. Together, we can make a difference.
Efficient Water Use in Our Breweries
In 2015, MillerCoors reduced our water usage by more than 128.8 million gallons across our breweries.
We have increased water efficiency in our brewery operations by employing innovative monitoring and processing systems, including short interval controls and optimizing clean-in-place systems to reduce rinse cycles. In 2015, we achieved an average water-to-beer ratio across our major breweries of 3.29:1.0, which brings us one step closer to our goal of reaching 3.0:1.0 by 2020.
Where possible, we capture and reuse a portion of our wastewater after brewing for processes such as equipment cooling and utilities operations that do not come into contact with any of our products. When we discharge treated wastewater directly to rivers or streams, we do so carefully to minimize the potential effects on the environment.
Sustainable Brewery Watersheds
Our strategy centers around our 2020 goal to restore a volume of water equal to the final product volume produced at our breweries and cidery located in water-stressed watersheds in California, Colorado and Texas. We prioritize water stewardship beyond our own operations because we are committed to helping ensure everyone, especially those in our brewery watersheds, has access to high-quality water for years to come.
We define “restore” as the amount of water returned to natural sources through initiatives in the water-stressed watersheds such as:
- Landowner water conservation projects, including wetlands, filter strips, cover crops and planting native vegetation;
- Technological improvements that reduce irrigation water use; and
- Forest management to protect natural water filtration systems and reduce soil erosion.
Projects implemented through the end of 2015 provided a restore benefit of approximately 137 million gallons per year representing 19.47 percent of the production volume generated by our breweries and cidery located in water-stressed watersheds. The 2015 restore benefits are expected to continue to be realized through the year 2020 provided that the projects remain in productive service. MillerCoors will continue to implement additional projects, and benefits will be verified by the leading water sciences and environmental engineering consulting firm, LimnoTech, before reporting.
MillerCoors Receives 2013 U.S. Water Prize
We were honored to receive a 2013 U.S. Water Prize from the U.S. Water Alliance. The award was given to MillerCoors in recognition of our innovative water conservation efforts in our agricultural supply chain, where we estimate approximately 90 percent of our water use occurs.
Resilient Agricultural Supply Chain
We work with our barley growers to help conserve, improve and reduce water use on their farms, which leads to greater watershed health for all stakeholders. We focus significant energy and resources in this area, since more than 90 percent of our water footprint occurs upstream in our agricultural supply chain.
- Malt Barley Production Field Study: In 2015, we continued our partnership with Syngenta, Western Sugar Cooperative and Field to Market to study malt barley production. All of our growers provide us with data on water, energy and nitrogen use, as well as land use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil loss. This information is helping us better understand how we can help growers improve their yields and their environmental performance.
- Showcase Barley Valley, Idaho: Our work in Idaho’s Silver Creek Valley is an example of how our sustainability programs are managing and reducing agricultural water risks. Overall, continued water conservation practices, implemented on farms throughout the valley over the past two years with MillerCoors support, are collectively restoring approximately 550 million gallons of water per year.
- San Luis Valley, Colorado: We began working with NRCS in 2015 to implement a program in the San Luis Valley and the Gunnison and Colorado River Basins to increase awareness and participation in water conservation programs. This collaboration aims to help reduce agricultural water risks for our 150 barley growers across the state and to improve the overall health of Colorado watersheds.