Global environmental challenges
Andy Wales, head of sustainable development at global brewer SABMiller, maintains it can happen. The maker of Miller beer — and 20 other brands, from Aguila in Colombia to Zolotaya Bochka Klassicheskoye in Russia — likes the environmental angle, but the main impetus is to ensure production of their products in what is a highly variable business from location to location.
“Water is obviously a critical part of high quality beer,” Wales said by telephone from London. One important part of this equation is figuring out how to use less water and still make good beer.
What this means in practice is working with groups like World Wildlife Fund and GIZ, a German organization that coordinates international development and sustainable development efforts. It also means recognizing the potential for water scarcity and the need for conservation. The four countries seen as having the biggest long-term water risk are South Africa, Ukraine, Tanzania and Peru, Wales said.
“The goal is to reduce our water use per liter of beer by 25 percent by 2015 over a 2008 base,” Wales said. “So that’s from 4.6 liters per liter of beer to 3.5 liters by 2015. Water efficiency’s a big part of our operations everywhere.”
They believe solar power systems that convert sunlight into electricity can help power developing areas without going the route of dirty coal-fired power plants.
Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and is a regular contributor to this page. Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
African bloggers have been highlighting water related issues, from the politics in South Africa that led to suspension of a water quality expert, new devices for collecting and cleaning water, to the ‘scramble for fish’ in the East African lake region.
We start with South Africa where the blog Urbansprout highlights the suspension of Dr. Anthony Turton.