Published 2 years ago.
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Image: Lake Mead's water levels have declined to critically low levels in recent years. | Good Free Photos
/ This article is sponsored by
Keurig Dr Pepper.
KDP has found the power of partnerships to be the best primer for innovation and has worked alongside various groups, including direct competitors, all of whom bring to the table a vested interest in shared water resources.
In conjunction with World Water Day this week,
millions of people and businesses worldwide are recognizing the role of water in
communities, livelihoods, culture, wellbeing and the environment. The beverage
industry, in particular, plays an important role in stewarding water — a
responsibility that Keurig Dr Pepper
(KDP) takes seriously. KDP launched its corporate responsibility platform,
Drink Well. Do
in 2019, a year after the merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper
Snapple Group. Both companies prioritized water stewardship, and KDP has since
expanded its unified efforts through collective action and innovation.
"As a beverage company, water is the primary ingredient in our products," says
Tina Bosch Ladd, Sustainability Director at Keurig Dr Pepper. "We have a
responsibility to be a steward for that water — not only in our operations, but
also in our communities and our supply chain. It's a clear business priority for
us in two ways: protecting a key input and being a good citizen everywhere we
The company's holistic water approach includes a corporate water policy,
governance processes, transparency in reporting, measurable targets and
engagement across its value chain.
KDP's water stewardship goals are focused on safeguarding water resources and
building healthy communities resilient to climate change. Since 2014, KDP has
replenished 73 percent of the water used in its beverages. By 2025, the company
commits to replenish 100 percent of the water it uses in its highest water-risk
locations and boost its water efficiency by 20 percent.
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KDP has identified six sites ripe for water stewardship initiatives that face
high water risk and provide a great opportunity for conservation. The beverage
giant targeted projects in those geographies throughout 2020, working with
"Long-term, sustainable solutions are oftentimes found via partnerships and
innovative approaches that bring funders or organizations from different sectors
together to tackle shared water challenges in their local context," Bosch
For instance, KDP has joined forces with the Beverage Industry Environmental
Roundtable (BIER) to address shared water challenges in Jalisco,
Mexico — through a first-of-its-kind watershed collaboration, “Charco
Bendito.” Together with BIER members, KDP is now restoring land along
waterways critical to water regeneration through native vegetation planting,
infrastructure improvements and local engagement and educational campaigns.
"The Charco Bendito collaboration is unique and will be looked back on as a
gamechanger," says Nick Martin, Executive Director of BIER. "KDP and the
other collaborating companies have challenged all industries to do more and to
address what cannot be achieved alone, which is local water security. Peer
companies joining together within a local market on water is a powerful
statement and challenge to industry."
Throughout the US, there's work to be done, too. Water resources are being
depleted in the Southwest at an alarming rate. Along the Arizona and
Nevada border, Lake Mead — an essential water reservoir for much of the
Southwest — is reaching critically low levels. KDP
other corporate funders in contributing a total of $1.7 million to conserve up
to 150,000 acre-feet of water that will directly shore up declining water levels
in Lake Mead through a system conservation project with the Colorado River
Indian Tribes (CRIT).
In California, KDP has joined the California Water Action Collaborative
(CWAC) — a group of over 25 leading NGOs and corporations committed to
California’s shared water future. This group helped develop the CRIT project and
works with corporate members to replenish natural water supplies and drive
regional watershed resilience, in alignment with state and global water
“Core to our work as a collaborative network is to develop impactful,
on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects; and innovate scalable water
solutions that have multiple benefits and can be replicated in a range of
California watersheds, from agricultural to urban regions, and in other Western
states,” says Robert Gould, CWAC’s Network Lead. “KDP has been collaborating
with us prior to joining CWAC, and we are very glad to have their energy and
Building on a foundational partnership with The Nature Conservancy
(TNC), in 2020 KDP invested in a pilot project in Texas' Trinity River
Watershed, which secured a water leasing agreement to restore natural
environmental flows in the river during drought periods to support fish and
Kyle Garmany, hydrologist and Water and Agriculture Program Director at TNC
Texas, notes: “The challenge of freshwater scarcity in Texas requires new and
innovative solutions for meeting environmental water demands. Working with KDP,
TNC Texas successfully executed a first-of-its-kind environmental water
transaction — securing flow releases from storage for environmental flow
restoration. This transaction and subsequent legal dedication of water
demonstrates a groundbreaking approach for addressing flow restoration in the
Trinity river basin.”
KDP and TNC hope to demonstrate for others that this type of project can be
replicated and scaled to other regional water basins. KDP is also a founding
member the Texas Water Action Collaborative — a new coalition of industry,
nonprofit and governmental organizations to benefit the quality and volume of
water on the Trinity River and other river systems across the state.
These partnerships underscore KDP’s commitment to bettering water sustainability
through collaboration, stakeholder engagement and innovative solutions that span
far further than water use alone.
The water footprint of the beverage industry's upstream supply chains represents
a larger amount of untapped water stewardship potential. KDP sees regenerative
agriculture as a key component of protecting resources, as regenerative
practices focused on soil health also contribute to improved water quality and
quantity, biodiversity and farmer resilience.
KDP partners with Blue Harvest in implementing regenerative agricultural
with its Central American coffee supply chain. KDP's work with Blue Harvest has
contributed to efforts that protect and restore water sources, improve coffee
increase market access and strengthen local water resource management in
the partnership has trained over 3,000 farmers, offered improved water quality
to nearly 80,000 people and saved over 52 million gallons of water through
infrastructure upgrades and new water stewardship practices.
KDP announced a new commitment to support regenerative agriculture and
conservation on 250,000 acres of land by 2030, representing half of the land
used to grow KDP's climate-sensitive crops — including coffee, corn and apples.
Overall, KDP has found the power of partnerships to be the best primer for
innovation and has worked alongside various groups, including direct
competitors, all of whom bring to the table a vested interest in shared water
resources. Rather than competing as individual companies for finite resources,
this model shows that companies can work together to support a healthy,
abundant and common
"Solving challenges around climate and water are not something one company or
industry can tackle alone," Bosch Ladd says. “By working together on solutions,
we can contribute positively to our communities and protect this resource we all
Published Mar 26, 2021 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET
Christian is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories that change the world.
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.