Molson Coors Brewing Company on July 20 announced a strategic collaboration with Circle of Blue in support of their mutual and long-term commitment to protecting global fresh water supplies. Circle of Blue is the international network of leading journalists, scientists and communicators focused on global water issues.
More than five million people die each year due to a lack of safe drinking water, and the United Nations estimates that 5.5 billion people will lack adequate access to fresh water in the next 20 years. Water scarcity and threats to water quality have emerged as serious threats to peoples and businesses around the world.
The collaboration's first initiative will be to launch an independent survey of public awareness and concern for fresh water issues in 25 countries around the world, with a deeper evaluation of attitudes about fresh water conservation in a smaller subset of seven countries. The research and survey analysis will be conducted by Globescan, a nonpartisan research and polling firm, and will provide the first substantive global benchmark for civic engagement on fresh water issues.
Circle of Blue will be joined by Molson Coors Brewing Company president and CEO Peter Swinburn in presenting the survey results at World Water Week on August 18 in Stockholm.
"Safeguarding supplies of fresh water is essential to the sustainability of the Molson Coors business. Strategically, it is important to us to learn how policy makers, government leaders and our own customers and employees view this precious resource, and to develop new ideas about how to engage them in water issues in their communities," said Swinburn. "By supporting Circle of Blue's critical reporting and research efforts we will be able to provide leadership and valuable insights about attitudes around the world toward retaining and restoring the world's critical fresh water supplies."
Molson Coors appreciates the central role of fresh water in the brewing process. Striving to use less water, all Molson Coors breweries achieved their 2008 goal of an overall four percent reduction in water use.
The relationship with Circle of Blue deepens Molson Coors' commitment to the United Nations CEO Water Mandate, which seeks to engage a critical mass of business leaders around the world to address the emerging global water crisis. In keeping with the Water Mandate's call for businesses to address water sustainability in their operations and supply chain and disclose their progress, Molson Coors has developed water metrics, which are posted on its Web site and published in its corporate responsibility report. The results of the survey will inform future water targets and strategies for the company.
"The availability and management of clean water is one of the most important issues we face today for our health, our economy, our food and our future," said J. Carl Ganter, Circle of Blue's co-founder and director. "Our goal as a non-advocacy journalism and research organization is to engage the best, most creative thinking and expertise, and focus on solutions that offer sustainable responses. Molson Coors has been a leader in this conversation, and we're very pleased to have their support in this survey effort."
Molson Coors is a longstanding and active member of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) where global beverage companies work together to advance water conservation and resource protection. In the U.S. market, the company has established partnerships with organizations focused on regional water resource management. In partnership with the River Network, the company supports watershed protection programs in several states across the U.S. Molson Coors is also working with the international organization Water for People to further advance the principles of integrated water resource management.