The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) has issued a set of guiding principles on ecosystem services, intended to help beverage companies integrate ecosystem parameters into business decision-making. The principles seek to improve beverage sector environmental performance by optimizing operations, protecting biodiversity, replenishing natural resources used and engaging across the value chain.
BIER guiding principles on ecosystems are:
- Optimize the efficient usage of natural resources with an emphasis on sources of freshwater, agricultural crops and forest products;
- Minimize wastes released to nature;
- Increase reuse and recycling of packaging materials;
- Integrate ecosystem service parameters into freshwater supply, agricultural crop, forest and extractive product sustainability initiatives;
- Invest in protection of ecosystems and biodiversity through human and financial capital;
- Evaluate and address opportunities to restore natural sources;
- Pursue wastewater treatment strategies that return equal or improved water quality back to the ecosystem;
- Engage with stakeholders along the entire value chain to build collaborative solutions;
- Monitor and communicate progress in achieving these principles.
“As beverage companies, we recognize the extent to which our businesses are dependent and have impact on the natural environment,” says Tod Christenson, Director of BIER. “We also recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to measuring and valuing these impacts and dependencies. By issuing Guiding Principles on Ecosystems, we aim to provide a foundational framework for beverage companies to assess their stewardship efforts and stimulate practical actions to protect our ecosystems and resources.”
“We welcome the release of the BIER Guiding Principles on Ecosystems, which set the basis for inclusion of ecosystem considerations in companies’ strategies and operations” says Peter Bakker, President World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). “By going beyond biodiversity conservation and promoting restoration of natural ecosystems, the Principles demonstrate the leadership of BIER members. We encourage companies from other sectors to leverage these principles and implement solutions that can help reduce the loss of natural ecosystems and restore degraded ones, an objective that WBCSD is also strongly supporting through its Action2020 Platform.”
The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) is a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector. BIER aims to affect sector change through work focused on water stewardship, energy efficiency and climate change, beverage container recycling, sustainable agriculture and eco-system services. BIER members include American Beverage Association, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bacardi, Beam, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg, The Coca-Cola Company, Constellation Brands, Danone Waters, Diageo, Diversey, Ecolab, Fetzer Vineyards, Heineken, MillerCoors, MolsonCoors, New Belgium Brewing Company, Ocean Spray Cranberries, PepsiCo, Pernod Ricard, SABMiller, and Sun Orchard.
Source: Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER)