In 2016, ABP Food Group partnered with Water Stewardship Ireland to develop a water stewardship programme that would deliver against the company’s “Doing More with Less” targets, specifically their target to reduce water consumption by 50%. The focus was on moving beyond a mere regulatory compliance perspective of water to holistic sustainable water management.
Under this Water Stewardship programme, ABP Food Group have made rapid progress along their Water Stewardship Journey and have achieved sustainable company-wide improvements in how the organisation uses water in its Irish operations:
- In 2015 and 2016 water consumption dropped by 14% across all Irish sites
- State of the art water mapping and monitoring systems were rolled-out at each site
- A number of water technology projects were undertaken to upgrade effluent treatment plants and refine washing systems
- Specialist Lean Six Sigma Water training was delivered to key staff
- An annual compliance training programme was implemented for all ABP staff to ensure impacts will be sustained in the longer term
In 2017 the efforts of the Water Stewardship Programme at ABP Food Group have been internationally recognised through the award of the first independently certified multi-site certification in the world under the European Water Stewardship standard. In fact, all nine sites achieved the gold standard in 2017.
In 2018, ABP won the Sustainable Water Achievement Category at the Green Awards for the programme of work jointly undertaken by the company and Water Stewardship Ireland.
Water stewardship now drives ABP in the use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site and catchment-based actions. The programme of work delivered to date has put ABP Food Group at the cutting edge of Water Stewardship practices internationally.