Water Management

Aluminum cans getting sprayed with water

Our Use of Water

Water is used in many steps of our manufacturing and filling processes. In our facilities, it supports the forming, washing, rinsing and cooling of beverage cans and glass bottles, as well as the separation of sand for glass production. It is also an important element in the manufacture of aluminum and the production of the various beverages made by our customers. Even though Crown’s facilities require freshwater inputs, most of this water returns to the water system and zero water is present in our final product. As a result, beyond evaporation, Crown does not consume water on its final products except for a minimal amount of water attached to the sand sub-product of the glass making process.

We source water from a combination of third parties, surfaces and wells, depending on the operating location. Once utilized, water is sent through an on-site wastewater treatment system prior to its discharge. While a few locations release directly into surface water areas, approximately 95% of our facilities discharge into third-party municipal wastewater treatment systems. Plants that treat wastewater on-site monitor at minimum biological oxygen demand (“BOD”) and chemical oxygen demand (“COD”) parameters, in addition to any parameters required by local discharge and/or operational permits. All discharge follows local regulations. In some cases, including our operations in Mexico and Brazil, the quality of the water discharged is superior to the water that is withdrawn.

Our Approach

With a diverse geographic footprint, environmental conditions vary from plant to plant. We identify water-related impacts by evaluating annually the specific data in each of our locations and developing action plans to address identified risks and opportunities. Our assessments include our incoming and outgoing water as well as the sources and points of discharge. Our water withdrawal is validated through an external third-party verification process. The World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct global water risk mapping function also helps us assess water stress and understand which of our sites are located in water-scarcity areas. These sites are subject to partnered replenishment projects, which aim to preserve watersheds for the importance they hold in the community and the environment. We have also signed the United Nation's ’s CEO Water Mandate and committed to collective action to replenish 100 watersheds. This work aligns with our Twentyby30 goal to replenish 100% of water consumed from high scarcity watersheds by 2030.

Our Ambition

We aim to responsibly manage water for the long-term protection of the ecosystems and communities where we live and work. Our water stewardship strategy decreases the potential for business disruption while helping protect scarce resources at the watershed level by taking multiple actions including:

  • Identifying and eliminating losses and leaks
  • Identifying and incentivizing water reuse opportunities
  • Piloting and replicating new and hybrid technologies toward Minimal to Zero Liquid Discharge
  • Monitoring and recording wastewater quantity, quality, compliance and location of discharge
  • Adopting company-wide standard operating procedures defining wastewater discharge quality and standard monitoring requirements
  • Ensuring all employees have continued access to safe drinking water
  • Ensuring all employees have continued access to sufficient and clean personal hygiene facilities, supplies and education
  • Validating the number of plants in high water scarcity locations
  • Identifying watershed level projects to implement in high water scarcity locations and executing these initiatives in collaboration with local partners

Compliance with local and national laws and regulations is a priority for Crown. Most of our locations are subject to strict national and local regulations on effluent quality. All incidents related to wastewater exceedances are registered and investigated, and corrective actions are implemented where necessary.

Crown plants and offices have readily available potable water that is unlimited and free of charge to employees. Sanitary facilities, including toilets and hand/face washing facilities, are also available across all our facilities.