The Suntory Group, which has made the pursuit of water sustainability a vital issue in the Basic Principles of Suntory Group's Environmental Policy, continues to conduct various water-related assessments at the Institute for Water Science established in 2003. We conduct water-related risk assessments for sustainable business activities and use these assessments to promote environmental management. We also consider water risk assessment when developing new businesses.
Water Risk Assessment of Suntory Group’s Own Plants
We identified the water stress situation in the country where our plants* are located by using Baseline Water Stress, an indicator in the Aqueduct Country Ranking developed by World Resource Institute. The Aqueduct Country Ranking is the global assessment tool for uniformly assessing water risk in a specific country.
*Owned plants that manufactures finished products and excludes plants for packaging and ingredients
|Baseline Water Stress|
|Medium-high||France, Thailand, Indonesia, Germany|
|Low-medium||Japan, USA, UK, Nigeria|
|Low||Canada, Ireland, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand|
Based on country scores for Baseline Water Stress as used in Aqueduct by the World Resources Institute.
In addition, using the methodology we developed in the pilot study* of Science-Based Targets (SBT) for water, in which we participated in 2021, we assessed the water risk of the sites where our plants are located.
For our plants’ continual operation, the water availability to the plants, the surrounding natural environment, and the local community must be in a sustainable state. For this reason, we identified the water availability in the watershed to which our plants belong as materiality. We then prioritized the plants that needed to implement risk management initiatives.
To assess, in addition to the Water Risk Filter developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the world's largest nature conservation organization, we adopted a total of four indicators, including the Aqueduct mentioned above indicator. These indicators are used to evaluate the water availability based on the ratio between the amount of water supplied to the watershed by precipitation and the amount of water demand in the watershed, estimated based on population statistics. Three of these indicators evaluate the water availability in the present, while the remaining indicator predicts the water availability in 2040, based on future scenarios such as climate change. Both indicators use a five-point scale to evaluate the degree of risk. We averaged the scores of the three indicators for each site to assess the current status of water availability and defined locations with an average score of "5: Extremely high" or "4: High" as sites with "Extremely high water-stressed." In addition, sites with a score of 4 or higher on Aqueduct's 2040 Water Stress, an indicator of the state of the water availability in 2040, were positioned as sites with "Highly water-stressed." As a result, of the total water withdrawal by all our plants in 2020, 3% were by sites with “Extremely high water-stressed,” and 14% were by sites with “Highly water-stressed.”
*Pilot study to verify methodology related to SBT settings for water by Science Based Targets Network
Based on the results of this assessment, we are promoting local initiatives on a priority basis, starting with plants with high water risk. At the Behror plant in India, we have assessed the water balance of the entire watershed to which the plant belongs based on a local hydrological survey and implement activities to recharge the water source by utilizing reservoirs where rainwater can infiltrate. In addition, at the Toledo plant in Spain, we collaborate with a local NGO to improve the water quality of the Tajo River basin through a project called "Guardians of Tajo." We are currently conducting a more detailed field survey of the city water reservoir used by the plant to identify the recharge area to make a plan for conservation activities. Furthermore, at the Bogor plant in Indonesia, we have been working with experts from a local university to conduct a hydrological survey of the watershed to formulate a plan for groundwater conservation. We have surveyed river flow rates and water quality, considering the rainy and dry seasons.
In this way, the Suntory Group has been conducting on-site surveys, and working with stakeholders in the watershed to implement initiatives at prioritized plants in highly water-stressed areas. In addition, we have been conducting water-related surveys of our significant suppliers on an ongoing basis since 2016.