Water - a vital resource underpinning Pernod Ricard’s operations and culture
During World Water Day, Pernod Ricard will report on global projects to ensure sustainable water resources while upholding water quality and availability. Steps taken are part of Pernod Ricard 2010-2020 environmental roadmap, for which the Company will also talk about key progress made.
Water is a staple ingredient of everything we produce and is needed for every step of production, including vineyard irrigation, raw material treatments, distillation and spirit reduction. We signed up to the UN’s CEO Water Mandate in 2010 and have undertaken to cut water consumption and ensure sourcing water will not harm future water resources. Three main factors underpin water resource management while safeguarding water quality and availability:
1_Preserving water resources and reducing consumption. Between 2010 and 2017, we reduced by 17% water consumption per litre of alcohol produced. We strive to achieve a 20% cut by 2020. Our Midleton distillery in Ireland has already reduced water consumption per litre of pure distilled alcohol produced reached a 35% reduction, primarily from capital expenditure to increase distillation capacity. The Tamaki wine bottling plant in New Zealand avoids waste as much as possible by capturing rain water and water used to rinse bottles on-site.
2_ Tailoring water resource management to local issues. Our 99 production locations have been audited based on the World Resource Institute’s procedure to pinpoint future risks to watershed reserves. Following the audit, each location agreed to tailored action plans where water reserves are exposed. Pernod Ricard India has built rain water reservoirs totalling 340,000 sq ft in arid Rajasthan to collect water for local villages’ domestic needs and crop irrigation. Pernod Ricard Winemakers in Australia and New Zealand ensure sustainable grape growing practices backed by high-precision drip irrigation methods.
3_ Properly treating returning it to the environment. In 2016-2017, disposed waste water totalled 140 million cubic feet, of which 74% went to public sewerage, 18% was returned to the environment and 8% was recycled for vineyard irrigation after treatment. Our distilleries boast the latest technology for effective waste water treatment: Irish Distillers has two on-site waste water treatment plants which use membrane bioreactor technology (activated sludge process to break down matter)..
In addition to water preservation, we have drawn up a step-by-step report on the Company’s other 4 pledges in the Roadmap.
We are significantly curbing our environmental footprint, rolling out effective environmental management systems in all affiliates, promoting sustainable agriculture, safeguarding biodiversity, developing sustainable products and cutting our carbon emissions and waste. Jean-François Roucou, Pernod Ricard’s Director of Sustainable Performance, emphasized: “Our business is closely linked to farming and agriculture and as such, it is clearly up to us to step up to the plate and lead clear and ambitious projects to curb our environmental footprint. We are delighted with our results so far and this has set in motion a virtuous circle: our practical and comprehensive approach lets us measure how managing this risk is a value-enhancing opportunity”.
Rolling out effective environmental management. The Company is introducing environmental management systems in all countries where it does business. In 2017, 96% of manufacturing locations were certified ISO 14001 compliant, covering 99.5% of all volumes produced by our global manufacturing facilities. We aim to have all manufacturing locations certified by 2020. The latest distillery to obtain the certification was in Maine au Bois in Charente (France).
Promoting sustainable agriculture and preserving biodiversity. Given that all our products come from farmed ingredients, we strive to develop and promote environmentally responsible farming practices, especially throughout our 140,000 acres of vineyards. In 2017, 84% of vineyards were ISO 14001 certified, and we seek to have all vineyards certified by 2020. The Mumm and Perrier Jouët vineyards (700 acres) also obtained double certification for Sustainable Winegrowing and High Environmental Value in 2016. In 2017, 77% of our vineyards had undertaken biodiversity preservation programmes, and we seek to have all vineyards compliant by 2020. In Australia, restoring Jacob’s Creek’s watershed aims to preserve the fragile ecosystems where endemic plants and wildlife live. At the Brancott Estate vineyards, a protection programme for the New Zealand falcon was introduced.
Slashing carbon emissions. Our manufacturing plants cut CO² emissions by 27% per unit of production from 2010 to 2017. This was achieved by boosting energy efficiency (16% less energy consumed per litre of alcohol) combined with higher use of renewable power (72% in 2016). We seek to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of production by 30% by 2020. The Absolut Company distillery in Sweden has made great strides in this respect. By introducing the “Absolut One Source” programme it achieves a zero carbon footprint. The Absolut Company has become one of the most environmentally-friendly distilleries in the world.
Developing sustainable products and cutting waste. The environmental impact of our operations begins during the design stage and continues throughout each product’s lifecycle. Landfill waste was slashed from 10,253 tonnes to 913 tonnes between 2010 and 2017. We strive to reach our target of zero waste at manufacturing locations by 2020. To do so, we have focused all our resources on achieving a thriving recycling ecosystem. An excellent example of this is recycling distillery slops produced by the Absolut distillery in Sweden to feed Ahus region livestock every year, including 250,000 pigs and 40,000 cows. In France, Revico recycles slops produced at Martell distilleries to be converted to biogas.