Over the past eleven years, BIER has promoted the fundamental business imperative of water stewardship. Along with key stakeholders, BIER has developed innovative approaches, tools, and methodologies to addresses water stewardship challenges. By driving business decisions that influence the beverage industry and beyond, these initiatives work toward the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6: ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
BIER members joined technical advisors from leading water and environmental organizations to develop a beverage sector perspective on decision making and performance measurement based on local watershed context. BIER’s approach was originally outlined in a Concept Paper and has evolved into the methodology outlined within the recently released CEO Water Mandate discussion paper. “The beverage industry continues to propel water stewardship initiatives with this aggressive transition from a concept to a practical decision support process,” says Nick Martin, BIER Water Working Group Facilitator and Associate Director. “While there are still challenges to collaboratively overcome (data gaps, actionable outcomes, business case), BIER is working to show that context and science-based concepts are directly applicable to business decision making for companies outside the beverage sector.”
BIER strives to be a catalyst for collaboration between the related initiatives and shared objectives of other organizations. “The beverage sector has been a leader in corporate water stewardship and BIER’s Performance in Watershed Context work is one strong example of this leadership – pushing member companies to incorporate watershed-level thinking and analysis into business planning” says Roberta Barbieri, Vice President, Global Water and Environmental Solutions at PepsiCo. “Collaboration between BIER and the Mandate on this initiative will not only increase our ability to make informed decisions that maximize positive impact at the watershed level but will increase the potential scale of impact beyond the beverage sector.”