Diageo invests in reducing water use in India

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By  Amy Hopkins

Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff maker Diageo has installed new technologies at its Indian distilleries as part of a programme of investments to improve water efficiency.

Ahead of World Water Week (26-31 August), Diageo has “reaffirmed its commitment to responsible water stewardship”, particularly in water-stressed areas.

In India’s Maharashtra state , the drinks group has implemented water recycling systems that will enable it to reuse up to 500,000 cubic metres of water a year – enough to fill 200 Olympic swimming pools – and a 35% reduction in water extraction.

“Effective water stewardship is essential for the environment, for the economy, for communities and most importantly for future generations,” said Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo.

“Managing water responsibly is key to achieving our performance ambition and we are absolutely committed to finding better ways of managing water sustainably in each part of our value chain, wherever we operate.”

The latest investment follows a £4.4 million project at Diageo’s Uganda Brewery in Kampala, which has seen water returned to its source – Lake Victoria – at a “higher quality” than when it was extracted.

In Diageo’s refreshed ‘water blueprint’, the group has outlined a target to improve water efficiency by 50%, return 100% of waste water to the environment safely, implement clean water and sanitation projects in water-stressed areas, and replenish the areas with the equivalent amount of water it uses.

Since 2007, the group has improved water efficiency at its distilleries and breweries by 40%. Diageo’s Water for Life programme, meanwhile, has improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene for more than 10m people in 21 countries around the world since 2006.

Source: The Spirits Business

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