The three food & beverage companies best in the world at conserving and shepherding water supplies are the Coca-Cola Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev and Unilever, according to a new report.
The report from Ceres, a nonprofit organization that deals with sustainability issues, details the progress that food & beverage companies have made with water stewardship. Titled “Feeding Ourselves Thirsty,” it basically states that significant progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
Ceres rated 38 companies on their water policies, on a scale of 1 to 100, assessing factors that include corporate governance on water issues, risk assessments, targets for water use reduction and implementation of methods to protect high-risk watersheds. Coca-Cola scored highest, at 90, followed by Anheuser-Busch InBev and Unilever, both at 83.
The lowest-scoring companies were Sanderson Farms (6), Pilgrim’s Pride (4) and Monster Beverage Corp. (0). The meat sector lagged in general, scoring an average of only 18 points.
Positive overall developments include an increase in the number of companies surveyed that have explicit oversight of sustainability-related issues, to 77%, and an increase in the companies who have watershed protection plans in place for their agricultural supply chains, to 42%.
On the negative side, only 17 of the 38 companies surveyed had a policy spelling out water-usage goals for their suppliers, and only 18 performed what Ceres calls “robust water risk assessments.”