The spring of life: Why water management at our facilities is a priority

27 Sep 2019 · 4 min read
When you turn on the tap, do you take it for granted that water will come out? And clean, drinkable water at that? To put it another way, have you ever been nervous about whether the tap water was drinkable when visiting a different part of the world?

In many countries, access to clean water is limited. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested as many as two billion people lacked access to safe drinking water, and 4.2 billion did not have safe sanitation.

PMI recognizes that it must do its part to support a cause that’s so important to so many people. Our action on water reaches beyond our own premises, to some of the most pressing concerns within our supply chain. The issue concerns the fields – where many of the tobacco plants are rain-fed without irrigation – as well as the use of water in the manufacturing of raw materials, such as filters, papers and packaging.

PMI is committed to efficiently managing water resources at all its facilities. This is why we joined the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) in 2017. It’s a multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes the responsible use of fresh water. Our factory in Brazil became its first to gain AWS certification in March 2018, and we are committed to having all of our factories AWS certified by 2025.

We have already begun implementing the AWS standards at a further five factories – in Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Russia and Turkey. One of our key goals is that the watershed around these facilities should not be negatively impacted due to our operations. To achieve this, we regularly engage and collaborate with local communities on environmental and social issues, including water management.

Methods of water management: Taking action and reporting on impacts 

We are acting to maximize water preservation. At the same time, we are raising awareness of cigarette butt littering, with the aim of helping prevent millions of these items ending up in our oceans.

Every year, we submit a report regarding our water impact to the CDP, a leading international not-for-profit organization that assesses the work of companies worldwide to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, protect forests, and safeguard water resources.

Water stewardship is about taking care of a precious resource that belongs to everyone. Good stewards of this resource recognize the part they play, and take action to implement methods of water management. That’s what PMI is firmly committed to doing.

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