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Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Engaging the Organization in Water Strategy Implementation

High quality water is an essential ingredient throughout Anheuser-Busch’s (A-B) value chain, from irrigation water for grain crops to brewing water for beer. To ensure that sufficient organizational attention focuses on water conservation and other water issues, AB is engaging multiple parts of the organization in developing and implementing the company’s water strategy.

Operations-focused solutions. Facility personnel play a major role in identifying and implementing water conservation initiatives. With corporate assistance, AB facilities have installed water meters and information systems to provide facility personnel with real-time information on water use throughout facility processes. AB facilities use this information to develop a “roadmap” of water uses and flow rates, using a "materials balance" approach. Process engineers, utility conservation engineers, and other specialists from the facility and corporate EHS use these roadmaps to identify specific water-saving opportunities. For example, in 2000, a multi-disciplinary Utilities Task Force at AB’s Williamsburg, Virginia brewery identified opportunities to save over 175 million gallons per year. A review of the facility’s automated cleaning processes revealed an opportunity to reduce rinse water by 36 million gallons per year. In addition, at an employee’s suggestion, bottle and can rinsing equipment in the packaging area was recalibrated, saving 24 million gallons of water annually.

Brewmasters and water reliability. AB brewmasters play an essential role in assuring the long-term reliability of local water supplies. Brewmasters are responsible for building relationships with local water utilities and suppliers to help ensure that local water sources are managed in a sustainable manner. AB has developed a “water reliability survey of long-term fundamentals” to assist plant staff in working and planning with local water supply managers to maintain the health and reliability of local and regional water sources.

Corporate support. AB established a Corporate Water Council to support and coordinate efforts across the company to address water opportunities and risks. The Council meets quarterly to discuss emerging water issues, opportunities, and the company’s progress toward addressing water challenges.

Module 5