Cargill has announced a series of new global water targets in an effort to achieve sustainable water management in its operations and all priority watersheds by 2030. The company has pledged to develop and accelerate agriculture solutions that will protect and enhance water resources. To achieve its targets and ensure reliable access to clean water, Cargill has committed to restoring 600 billion litres of water in priority watersheds by 2030. It also aims to reduce 5 million kg of pollutants and improve access to safe drinking water in priority watersheds, as well as implement its water stewardship programme at 81 facilities. “The world relies on access to clean water, for health, nutrition and economic prosperity,” said Dave MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO. He added: “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.” Through a number of partnerships, Cargill aims to engage farmers in implementing regenerative agriculture practices to improve soil health, restore water and reduce nutrient pollution. MacLennan continued: “When we invest in regenerative agriculture programmes 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.” The targets were developed in close partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI). “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 WRI. In 2018, Cargill partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Nestlé Purina to launch a three-year water sustainability programme, which intends to reduce water waste in the beef supply chain.
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