Stream of Eco-Consciousness: A Q&A on Our Water Strategy
Water is an integral resource within any manufacturing operation, used at various stages of production, from the stages of washing the cans to cooling towers and sanitation. Yet, the resource is also an integral element to our planet, making its preservation extremely critical.
Recognizing that our global water supply is finite, our Twentyby30 sustainability program aims to improve our water use efficiency and, ultimately, fight against water scarcity. Working toward these goals takes a talented group of engineers. We caught up with Leticia Ferreira, a Sustainability Project Engineer that plays a critical role in our water strategy, to share more on how we’re working toward Resource Efficiency.
With a background in environmental and sanitary engineering and extensive experience in areas such as wastewater treatment, environmental health and safety and environmental planning, Leticia contributes to our efforts to reduce our water consumption and be mindful of the precious resource.
Why is water supply important to you and to Crown?
For Crown, water is a key input for beverage can manufacturing, especially for the rinsing stage of the process. The quality and the quantity of the water available has a direct impact on the operations, as the washing process requires fresh water that meets specific criteria.
Water is also a sensitive subject for me personally. Human activities, like deforestation, directly affect the quantity and quality of this resource and can lead to irreversible impacts, like drought of a water body. I believe that it is noble, and necessary, for large corporations to take the initiative and be conscious users of water. Crown reflects this mindset and is working to create change in its operations to support water preservation—namely through the Resource Efficiency pillar of our Twentyby30 program.
Can you explain the Resource Efficiency pillar of the program?
The pillar is centered on increasing how efficiently our plants use the resources we have available. In other words, take steps to the same, if not more, with less. Working toward this common goal motivates our team to enact change and respect this highly important resource. The team is focused on continuous improvement, with efficiency being measures by the amount of resource per thousand cans.
Our Resource Efficiency pillar acknowledges that clean water is essential to hygiene and health and is one of the biggest threats to food security around the world. It aims to protect the water supply worldwide and combat water scarcity—an issue that will impact over half of the global population by 2030. It also recognizes that water is a key input for our beverage can manufacturing process and essential to the future of our business and to the industry at large. As such, efforts in this pillar center around water usage, wastewater practices, employee access to water and watershed replenishment.
What is Crown hoping to achieve by 2030 surrounding water usage?
We have established four main goals regarding Resource Efficiency. First, by 2025, Crown intends to reduce water usage by 20 percent. We are also aiming to ensure that 100% of wastewater continues to meet local standards each year and that all employees have continued access to safe water and hygiene each year. Lastly, we are working toward 100% of water consumed replenished back to high scarcity risk watersheds.
What is Crown’s strategy in reaching those goals?
We have enacted a multi-step approach to preserving the global water supply. As a corporation, we are working tirelessly to measure and monitor our water usage and piloting new programs to bring our intake down. The biggest opportunity we have for preserving water is within our beverage can operations, which comprise 50% of our business. While our sites continue to demonstrate excellent performance regarding water usage, we must keep lowering our water intake to do our part in preserving our environment, our communities and the future of our industry.