The Suntory Group's 7 Sustainability Themes 01 Water

Based on Suntory's "Sustainable Water Philosophy", we as a group promote activities to preserve water including understanding of the water cycle, reduction, recycling and wastewater management, watershed conservation, and work with external stakeholders to achieve water sustainability.

Social Awareness

Water is a valuable shared resource and the most important resource for the Suntory Group

Water is a valuable resource for supporting people's lives and the source of all of the Suntory Group's corporate activities. However, according to some predictions, people may face severe water shortages in the future due to the increase of global population and climate change. It is said that approximately five billion people will suffer from water shortages globally by 2050*. The global water shortage involves numerous issues. For example, in addition to drinking and domestic use, a substantial amount of water is used in food production. We have placed achieving water sustainability as the first priority of the Suntory Group's Environmental Principles. In addition, the Suntory Group's Sustainable Water Philosophy was established in 2017 to promote various initiatives.

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)「The State of Climate Services 2021」
Contributing to the SDGs

Our Approach

In our Environmental Vision toward 2050, we have established the following water sustainability goals: Reduce water consumption in half at our plants worldwide; preserve water resources and the ecosystem to cultivate more water than is used by our plants worldwide; realize sustainable water use at primary raw material farms; and share the Sustainable Water Philosophy broadly in communities where we are expanding our primary businesses.

Suntory Group's
Sustainable Water Philosophy

  1. 1.Understanding the natural cycle of water

    We investigate watersheds around our sites to understand the local hydrological cycle, using a scientific approach when needed.

  2. 2.Promoting environmentally conscious water use

    We reduce the environmental impacts of water use on the natural water cycle by implementing 3R activities and returning water to nature after adequate treatment.

  3. 3.Conserving watersheds

    We conserve our watersheds and endeavor to improve local water quality and quantity in cooperation with stakeholders for a sustainable future.

  4. 4.Engaging with the local community

    We endeavor to support our community by fostering collective actions to solve water issues and enrich society.

Our Initiatives

Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative based on scientific approaches

We started our Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative in 2003 for the purposes of improving water resource cultivation and biodiversity. Until now, the Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative have grown to approximately 12,000 ha across 22 sites in 15 prefectures throughout Japan. Our original goal was to succeed in cultivating more than twice the amount of water used by our domestic plants by 2020. We achieved this goal in 2019, one year ahead of schedule. With the Suntory Institute for Water Science playing a central role, we collaborate with researchers from various fields to carry out ongoing activities based on science, looking ahead decades or even 100 years into the future. In addition to our Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative, we conduct bird conservation activities (Suntory Bird Conservation Activities) and implement the Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water. We are also continuing to expand these activities in the areas around the world where we conduct our business activities.

Water Nurtured in Natural Water Sanctuaries are Source of Our Products

Water is an indispensable resource in Suntory’s manufacturing and is the most important resource for the Suntory Group. For example, clear water slowly cleansed by the granitic layer in the mountains around the Natural Water Sanctuary Southern Alps over 20 years is source for Suntory Tennensui Natural Mineral Water and Hakushu whisky.
The water cultivated in the Natural Water Sanctuary Nishiyama, which is managed scientifically by the Tokyo University of Agriculture Okutama Experimental Forest Project, brings life of The Premium Malt’s beer.

Management of 22 Forests Across Japan
Beer, whisky, non-alcoholic or other beverages Suntory produces in Japan all originate from the natural water cultivated in 22 unique forests. We strive to continue protecting the appeal, volume, and quality of water from these sources by engaging in activities to realize water sustainability with respect and appreciation.
We fully utilize the knowledge we have amassed through the Natural Water Sanctuary initiative to engage in activities related to water resource cultivation and water sustainability around the world.

Suntory Tennensui Kita-Alps Shinano-no-mori plant

Bringing Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water to the world

Launched in Japan in 2004, Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water is a program unique to Suntory designed for the next generation to realize the beauty of nature, to understand the importance of both water and the forests that nurture the groundwater, and to think about what they can do to ensure there is water in the future. With the expansion of Suntory Group's business activities internationally, we also launched Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water in Vietnam in 2015, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, France and China. And in 2022, we launched in Spain. At the international level, Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water provides children with on-site lessons at schools and with outdoor nature programs where they learn about the importance of water, hygiene management, the importance of water source conservation, etc. As water is a very local resource, the programming in each region is developed according to the local water issues. In addition, we are contributing to the installation of toilets and washrooms at elementary schools in Vietnam to improve sanitary environment of children. In Thailand, we prevented sediment-based erosion by slowing the currents of streams, installed small weirs to support permeation of underground water, planting trees to prevent soil from flowing into the streams, and carrying out other water resource preservation activities. We will continue to promote Suntory Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water, one of our next generation educational programs, in countries where we carry out business.

Goals and AchievementsTargets & Progress

Targets Toward 2030
2020 Progress
  • 1 Water intensity is the amount of water withdrawn per unit of production, which is 1 kiloliter of production
  • 2 Owned plants that manufactures finished products and excludes plants for packaging and ingredients
  • 3 Reduction of water intensity of production based on 2015 baseline year
  • 4 Coffee, barley, grapes