Unquestionably, the year 2020 will not be forgotten. Collectively, we have experienced a global pandemic, historical social movements, and increasing environmental threats. Understanding the implications of these collective challenges and what lies ahead is undetermined. Yet, despite these unprecedented challenges, sustainable progress has been made in 2020 and the beverage sector has continued to lead.
The members of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) have maintained a steady and unwavering focus in 2020 acting as a common voice across the beverage sector, speaking to influence global standards on environmental sustainability aspects, and sharing best practices that raise the bar for the sustainable performance of the industry.
Earlier this year, BIER, in partnership with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), launched the development of a water circularity metric(s) methodology. This collaboration builds upon the success of previous initiatives including WBCSD’s Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) and BIER’s Context-Based Decision Guide for Water Reuse and Recycling. The much anticipated final guidance document and insights will be published in early 2021.
Throughout 2020, BIER has played an active and engaged role in leading, collaboration with, and engaging in various stakeholder groups to influence global standards on environmental sustainability. These important collaborations include:
- CDSB Water Application Guidance for Water-Related Disclosures
- SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
- CDP Pollution Indicators
- Water Resilience Accounting Framework
- Science-Based Targets (SBT) for Water
- Decentralized Reuse and Treatment Systems
A bright spot for many in 2020 was the launch of BIER’s innovative, first of its kind, watershed collaboration addressing shared water challenges in the Municipality of Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Jalisco Mexico. The project involves restoring 21.5 hectares of land important to improving the region’s water quality and quantity. Key activities include planting native vegetation to increase groundwater levels and reduce soil loss, improving water infrastructure, and increasing awareness about the importance of water to healthy communities. This project shines in its local stakeholder engagement and transparent collaboration with BIER members. Nick Martin, BIER Executive Director, captures the project’s launch and potential by stating, “Our members have a long history of collaborating to advance sustainability and this extends that commitment to an on-the-ground water stewardship project that will have tangible benefits to a shared watershed and community. We hope this project provides an example to other business sectors that if competitors can come together then all businesses can collaborate in water-stressed areas across the globe.”
BIER also continued our progress assisting our member companies with enhancing their climate resiliency and aligning with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Two of the outputs from this work included: 1) Climate Change Risk Briefs; and 2) Facility Decarbonization Playbook.
Transitioning towards 2021, BIER celebrates its 15-year anniversary. Building on its commitment to enhancing the consortium model, BIER is integrating new elements in 2021 with the announcement of Leticia Acosta, Corporate Sr. Manager – Global Environmental Sustainability at Constellation Brands as the inaugural BIER Member Chairperson role and Paul Bowen, formerly with The Coca-Cola Company as Chairperson Emeritus. The BIER Member Chairperson will be a rotating role so that all Partner Member companies will have the opportunity to lead.
As we embark on the next 15 years, BIER’s values of transparency and collaboration invite stakeholders to join us, explore new opportunities, and to leverage the BIER platform for the greater good.
BIER is a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector. Formed in 2006, BIER aims to accelerate sector change and create meaningful impact on environmental sustainability matters. Through development and sharing of industry-specific analytical methods, best practice sharing, and direct stakeholder engagement, BIER accelerates the process of analysis to sustainable solution development. BIER members include: American Beverage Association, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Constellation Brands, Diageo, Heineken, Keurig Dr Pepper, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Ocean Spray, PepsiCo, and Pernod Ricard. For more information, please visit http://www.bieroundtable.com
KEYWORDS: Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), Sustainability, 2020