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SAB's holistic approach to water sustainability saw the company take first place ahead of other large SA corporates.
SAB's holistic approach to water sustainability saw the company take first place ahead of other large SA corporates.

SAB awarded for water care efforts - Top honours for 2nd consecutive year


Supermarket Online - Jun 27th 2011, 12:29

The South African Breweries Limited's (SAB) progressive efforts to conserve water have been acknowledged for a second consecutive year during the annual Mail and Guardian Greening the Future Awards, held in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, yesterday.

The Water Care category of the awards is aimed at showcasing and encouraging efforts to preserve water. SAB's holistic approach to water sustainability saw the company take first place ahead of other large SA corporates.

"As a responsible corporate citizen and a significant consumer of water, SAB is extremely cognisant of the potentially dire consequences of inaction and we are mindful of our co-responsibility to ensure South Africa's dwindling water resource is sustainable and available to future generations to come, as well as to the business, whose continuity is reliant on it".

"It is indeed an honour to be recognised for something we believe is the necessary and right thing for all corporates to do, for the country and its people and for the environment. Water is a shared resource and we are all dependent on it, and its sustainability must be considered by all as a shared responsibility," says Andre Fourie, SAB Head of Sustainable Development.

Project Eden - treating brewery waste water for re-use - SAB also exercises strict control and management on the quality of discharge water at the end of the production cycle. As an extension of this SAB, in partnership with Rhodes University's Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, introduced an innovative programme to treat brewery waste water or effluent for reuse. Project Eden, a pilot scale programme established at SAB's iBhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth, treats brewery waste water for reuse in irrigation and other secondary water uses through a simplistic and environmentally sound approach. The programme is a first for the local brewing industry and is a big step forward for the preservation of water reserves in the country.

Water - a Sustainable Development Priority - Water is a primary Sustainable Development priority for SAB and one of the key fundamentals driving the company's business strategy. The company's water strategy follows a comprehensive risk-based approach to managing water in its business and in the value chain. An extension of this strategy is its active involvement and work towards delivering clean and healthy drinking water to communities.

In the brewery - SAB is ranked amongst the world's leaders in terms of responsible water management during the brewing process. Significant strides in reducing its water to beer ratio have been made intensive processes and initiatives implemented within its breweries to further improve on this achievement. International benchmarking helps to establish best practice and opportunities to better these methods are explored.

In the supply chain -SAB has collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to promote better farm water management practices. The company also works with NGOs, local government and businesses to ensure better water governance and management.

In communities - Wilge River - As SAB's operations have a significant impact on the communities in which it serves, the company believes it a necessity to ensure they have a sustainable, safe and healthy water supply into the future.

SAB has adopted a number of community based water projects across SA, the flagship of which is the rehabilitation of the Wilge River in the town of Frankfort in the Free State province, known as "Let the River Flow". The aim of the project is to clear the 315 km long river of massive debris which has built up over more than a decade, causing flow constraints and resulting in the water becoming stagnant. At least 57 000 people from communities surrounding the river are dependent on its water for survival and daily household uses. 

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