Water

Efficiency and engagement

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Bunge's Water Use

Agriculture is a major water user, accounting for 70 percent of all water withdrawals globally. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for food and freshwater. Climate change is also affecting patterns of water scarcity and risk in some regions of the world. Bunge and other companies in the food production chain have a stake in improving the efficiency of water use in agricultural production and in their industrial operations.

Because water plays a central role in the growing of food and in production processes, and because access to safe, clean water is a UN-recognized human right, managing the limited availability of freshwater around the world is a central concern for the agribusiness and food sector. The supply of groundwater is decreasing overall, and new variations in rainfall are affecting agricultural production and markets.

Bunge uses water at its facilities to process grains, oilseeds and sugarcane into feed ingredients, value-added food products and biofuels. We track withdrawals of water by source at major facilities. The direct use of freshwater in Bunge’s operations occurs mainly during our production processes, including heating and cooling, and in some secondary industrial contexts. As the world plans to produce more crop to meet growing demand, Bunge is preparing to further reduce our freshwater use, manage our risk in water-stressed locations and support water availability for local communities. Soybeans, Bunge’s largest commodity by revenue, are a rain-fed crop in the majority of areas from which we source.

We have made strides in water conservation within our operations, having already reduced our freshwater use per metric ton of production by 8% between 2014 and 2016. We have accomplished this by making our operational processes increasingly efficient, by closing loops, and by either installing new or improving existing cooling towers. Our newly established goals call for a 10% reduction in freshwater withdrawals by year-end 2026, per ton of production, with a 25% reduction goal for Bunge operations in regions where water resources are at risk.

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Assessing and Managing Water Risk

Using the CEO Water Mandate’s definitions for key water stewardship terms, Bunge assesses water stress and water risk in watersheds or other areas where we have facilities using:

  • Internal company knowledge
  • Regional government databases
  • The WBCSD Global Water Tool® (GWT)

Some Bunge facilities are located in river basins considered at risk, though their exposure to this risk is minor at present owing to the nature of the facilities’ operations.  Bunge operates 26 facilities in areas of high or extremely high Baseline Water Stress, as defined by the WRI Aqueduct Tool.  In addition, Bunge operates some facilities in 20 separate river basins around the world classified as being at “high” or “extremely high” baseline water stress, as defined by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct tool embedded in the GWT. We also have facilities in 19 separate river basins that will be below sufficient projected annual renewable water supply per person in 2025, according to a World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 2016 update.

Of all of the above locations, the risk of potential financial impact from climate change, drought, increased water scarcity or stress, flooding, extreme weather, and pollution of water sources is considered medium-to-high only in the Parana River basin (South America) and low-to-medium or low in the remaining basins.

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UN CEO Water Mandate

Bunge joined the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate in 2015.  

Launched in July 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate is a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. It covers six elements: Direct Operations, Supply Chain and Watershed Management, Collective Action, Public Policy, Community Engagement, and Transparency.

As part of our commitment, we have launched a new goal of contributing to watershed management plans in areas where we operate that subject to high water stress.  Bunge operates 26 facilities in areas of high or extremely high Baseline Water Stress, as defined by the WRI Aqueduct Tool.

You can read more about our activities in our CDP water disclosure and our UN Global Compact COP.

Assessing and Managing Water Risk

Using the CEO Water Mandate’s definitions for key water stewardship terms, Bunge assesses water stress and water risk in watersheds or other areas where we have facilities using:

  • Internal company knowledge
  • Regional government databases
  • The WBCSD Global Water Tool® (GWT)

Some Bunge facilities are located in river basins considered at risk, though their exposure to this risk is minor at present owing to the nature of the facilities’ operations.  Bunge operates 26 facilities in areas of high or extremely high Baseline Water Stress, as defined by the WRI Aqueduct Tool.  In addition, Bunge operates some facilities in 20 separate river basins around the world classified as being at “high” or “extremely high” baseline water stress, as defined by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct tool embedded in the GWT. We also have facilities in 19 separate river basins that will be below sufficient projected annual renewable water supply per person in 2025, according to a World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 2016 update.

Of all of the above locations, the risk of potential financial impact from climate change, drought, increased water scarcity or stress, flooding, extreme weather, and pollution of water sources is considered medium-to-high only in the Parana River basin (South America) and low-to-medium or low in the remaining basins.

GRI 102-11, GRI 303-2

 

UN CEO Water Mandate

Bunge joined the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate in 2015.  

Launched in July 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate is a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. It covers six elements: Direct Operations, Supply Chain and Watershed Management, Collective Action, Public Policy, Community Engagement, and Transparency.

As part of our commitment, we have launched a new goal of contributing to watershed management plans in areas where we operate that subject to high water stress.  Bunge operates 26 facilities in areas of high or extremely high Baseline Water Stress, as defined by the WRI Aqueduct Tool.

You can read more about our activities in our CDP water disclosure and our UN Global Compact COP.