Cargill is taking a stand for clean water, highlighting its commitment to this precious resource for both people and agriculture. By 2030, the company hopes to restore 600 billion liters of water in priority watersheds, as well as achieve sustainable water management systems in all of its operations.
"The world relies on access to clean water, for health, nutrition, and economic prosperity," said Dave MacLennan, Cargill's Chairman and CEO. "We must find ways to improve water quality and availability in the communities where we live and work, while also advancing the sustainability and efficiencies of our supply chains. We are focusing on the specific challenges faced by local communities and watersheds to accelerate our positive impact."
To achieve its water targets and improve access to clean water, Cargill plans to reduce 5 million kg of water pollutants in priority watersheds, improve access to safe drinking water in 25 priority watersheds, and implement its Water Stewardship program at 81 priority facilities.
One of the ways in which Cargill will achieve its goal is by partnering with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). By collaborating with Ohio State Water Quality Extension Associates, Cargill will engage farmers in implementing regenerative agriculture practices focused on soil health and nutrient management.
"Agriculture is how we'll get this done," added MacLennan. "When we invest in regenerative agriculture programs that enhance soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we also improve water quality, increase drought resilience, and improve access to clean water. By working across the industry and sharing best practices, we can protect the world's freshwater resources and help create a resilient, equitable economy with enough clean water for all."
As noted in a press release, clean water is essential to communities, which is why Cargill is determined to stick to its targets. These were created in conjunction with the World Resources Insitutute (WRI).
"Cargill's targets represent the next generation of water targets. While for years companies have set targets that try to address global water issues, the local nature of shared water challenges has meant targets aren't necessarily meaningful in the areas in which companies operate or from where they source. But Cargill's latest ambition sets targets specific to the catchment context and severity of the local water challenges," said Sara Walker, Senior Manager, Water Quality and Agriculture at the World Resources Institute. "WRI applauds this leading approach and believes it will help pave the way for other companies across the world to adopt – and act upon – their own contextual water targets so that we can collectively move the needle on more sustainable water use."
Cargill is also a member of the Water Resilience Coalition, which is an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative. In this space, Cargill is furthering its commitment to work with other companies and communities to reduce global water stress by 2050.
To see other ways in which Cargill is hoping to reach its goal, read the full press release here.