New ‘Water Roadmap’ targets water security for the food and drink sector

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

Sustainability charity WRAP, in partnership with WWF, The Rivers Trust and many other supporting organisations, has launched a Roadmap towards Water Security for the Food & Drink Supply (the ‘Water Roadmap’) to ‘protect vital water resources for the benefit of nature, local communities and the food and drink sector.’

The Roadmap builds on the Courtauld Commitment Water Ambition to deliver ‘even more ambitious changes’ across the food system in support of the new Courtauld Commitment 2030  target and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A total of 65 supporters, including 50 leading food & drink organisations such as Asda, Co-op, Coca Cola GB, M&S, Nestle UK & Ireland, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, are already supporting the Water Roadmap, and WRAP is calling for more to join.

Karen Fisher, Head of Climate Action Strategy at WRAP commented on the announcement: “The facts around the threats to water quality and availability are stark and will be worsened by climate change.

“All organisations that rely on water resources have a duty to take action to protect them and we must act now. Water is a shared resource, impacted by a wide range of users and critical to sustain nature and local communities.

“Given the necessity of water to produce our food and drink and the scale of water use for food production globally, it is vital that as an industry we set a goal for action.

“The Water Roadmap provides a practical mechanism for food and drink businesses to know what actions they can most meaningfully take to help achieve this goal. I urge other organisations to join those that have already given their commitment to help protect this critical resource.”

The Roadmap includes:

  • The actions organisations need to take individually and collectively, to help deliver this vision – progressing through the five stages of the WWF water stewardship ladder.
  • The milestones that UK food and drink businesses need to reach along this shared journey.
  • The delivery and governance framework – including the steps to develop and deliver water stewardship projects.
  • The reporting framework – ensuring accountability, providing assurance that the right level of progress is being made and that intended outcomes are being achieved.

More information about the Roadmap is available on the WRAP website.