Just a week after the release of its most recent sustainability report — complete with new 2020 targets, including providing access to clean water to a million people worldwide — and just in time for World Water Day, Keurig Green Mountain (KGM), has announced a multi-faceted effort to address the long-term, interconnected challenges of the global water crisis, starting with a commitment of $11 million to support leading NGOs working to promote water security around the world.
“Freshwater resources are dwindling and communities throughout the world are threatened with scarcity,” said Brian Kelley, president and CEO of Keurig Green Mountain. “Water is a critical natural resource that is fundamentally important to our company, our consumers, our stakeholders and our supply chain. As a business and as global citizens, we have a responsibility to promote good water stewardship in the world.“
The company announced that in late 2014, it will convene water experts at the first annual Keurig Green Mountain Water Summit in Vermont to stimulate conversations, collaboration and problem solving to address the global water crisis. In addition, KGM will continue to focus on processes and products that reduce its internal water footprint, as well as help consumers save water.
As part of the $11 million commitment, KGM funded four water-related nonprofit organizations:
- charity: water, a global nonprofit with a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Working with charity: water, KGM aims to bring clean drinking water to one million people by 2020.
- Global Water Initiative (GWI), created by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in partnership with CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to focus resources and expertise on the efficient and equitable use of water resources for agricultural production to improve food security, resiliency, and sustainability for communities. The partnership is driving on-the-ground work to improve management of water resources in coffee-growing areas of Central America.
- Raise-the-River, a coalition of leading conservation NGOs working within a landmark US-Mexico policy framework to restore the once lush and vibrant Colorado River Delta by reconnecting the Colorado River to the Gulf of California. Together, KGM and Raise-the-River are helping lead the charge to restore the health of the Colorado River, starting with the Delta.
- American Rivers, a nonprofit that protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. This partnership will bring communities together to clean up and restore their local rivers. KGM employees have participated in river clean-up activities for 10 years, including several years in partnership with American Rivers.
Keurig Green Mountain says its commitment to addressing the water crisis aligns with its goal of understanding and reducing its water footprint and creating products that help consumers save water. For instance, the Keurig® Brewing System uses water from the tap and only uses amounts of water that will be consumed, meaning the company doesn’t ship water, and consumers don’t throw out water in the form of wasted coffee.
A new coffee venture, TOMS Roasting Company, is the latest “one for one” product from TOMS — proceeds from the sale of its coffee will help provide access to clean water in the countries from which the company sources its beans; every cup purchased will provide a day’s worth of clean water; for every bag, a week’s worth.