Water scarcity is a global issue linked with climate change. We’re committed to managing this important resource responsibly. In 2010, we set a goal of reducing water consumption in our manufacturing facilities by 20% per unit of product by 2015, and we beat that target, achieving a 24% reduction. We did that by following the 3R Concept – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – in our manufacturing operations around the world.
We’re now expanding our water programs by first assessing current and future water-related risks more broadly across our value chain. These risks include water scarcity and water quality in tobacco growing regions, flood risk in major tobacco warehouse locations and ports, and water demand in cities where we have manufacturing facilities.
We have also become a member of the Alliance for Water Stewardship in 2017 to better understand how to conserve the watersheds where we operate. We piloted the implementation of the AWS Standard at our factory in Brazil which was certified in March 2018. In March 2019, our Portuguese affiliate Tabaqueira also received the certification. Four more factories are in the process of becoming certified with a target of ten facilities certified by 2020 and all operations by 2025.
In 2015, for the first time, PMI recognized its factories for outstanding achievements in minimizing water use, and for their contributions to our 2015 goal of reducing water consumption in our manufacturing facilities by 20% compared with 2010 levels. From the 71 entries received from across our regions, Germany, Colombia, and Canada were awarded top honors.
Even with a hot summer and increased production volumes, our factory in Berlin managed to improve water-use efficiency by 14%, through a combination of focused workshops, awareness programs, and monthly energy-team meetings.
Our tobacco-leaf processing operations in Colombia demonstrated that smaller facilities can also make big improvements by implementing daily consumption monitoring, leak detection, behavioral changes, and low-cost solutions such as flow inhibitors to save water.
Since 2010, our Quebec facility has decreased its water consumption by over 79%, and by the end of 2015 it saved more than 300,000 m3 of water.
PMI has been recognized as a ‘Climate A-Lister’ for the 5th year running by CDP.
How are we reducing the environmental footprint of our operations globally?
What steps are we taking to reduce the environmental footprint of tobacco farming around the world?