Water

Efficiency and engagement

Content pages: 

Commitment to Efficiency

Agricultural production is a major user of water resources, accounting for 70 percent of all water withdrawals globally. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for food and freshwater. Because access to safe, clean water is a United Nations-recognized human right, managing the limited availability of freshwater around the world is a central concern for the agribusiness and food sector.

Bunge has a stake in improving the efficiency of water use in agricultural production and in their industrial operations. 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.?Bunge is preparing to further reduce our freshwater use, manage our risk in water-stressed locations and support water availability for local communities.

We have historically made strides in water conservation within our operations, having already reduced our freshwater use significantly over the years. We continue to increase efficiency in our operational processes and improving existing cooling tower systems. Considering our 10-year goal to reduce by 10% the freshwater withdrawals by end of 2026, we have already achieved 6.2% reduction through 2018. We continue to monitor regions under stress to also keep our 25% reduction goal on track for those areas.?

GRI-103

Commitment to Efficiency

Agricultural production is a major user of water resources, accounting for 70 percent of all water withdrawals globally. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for food and freshwater. Because access to safe, clean water is a United Nations-recognized human right, managing the limited availability of freshwater around the world is a central concern for the agribusiness and food sector.

Bunge has a stake in improving the efficiency of water use in agricultural production and in their industrial operations. 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.?Bunge is preparing to further reduce our freshwater use, manage our risk in water-stressed locations and support water availability for local communities.

We have historically made strides in water conservation within our operations, having already reduced our freshwater use significantly over the years. We continue to increase efficiency in our operational processes and improving existing cooling tower systems. Considering our 10-year goal to reduce by 10% the freshwater withdrawals by end of 2026, we have already achieved 6.2% reduction through 2018. We continue to monitor regions under stress to also keep our 25% reduction goal on track for those areas.?

GRI-103

Content: 

Assessing and Managing Water Risks

The supply?of groundwater is decreasing overall, and new variations in rainfall are affecting agricultural production and markets. Soybeans -?Bunge’s largest commodity by revenue -?are a rain-fed crop in the majority of areas from which we source.?Because of this exposure, we regularly assess?water stress and risk in watersheds or other areas where we have facilities using internal company knowledge, regional government databases, and tools provided by non-profit organizations such as the?WBCSD Global Water Tool (GWT) and World Resource Institute's Aqueduct Tool.

Acording to this assessment, Bunge has facilities that are located in river basins considered at risk, although the exposure to this risk is minor at present owing to the nature of the facilities’ operations.?Overall, Bunge operates 29 facilities in areas of high or extremely high baseline water stress, as defined by the Aqueduct Tool.?In addition, Bunge operates some facilities in 18 separate river basins around the world classified as being at “high” or “extremely high” baseline water stress. We also have facilities in 25 separate river basins that will have increased water demand by 2030.

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 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 are subject to?high water stress.?You can learn more about our activities in our CDP?water disclosure?and our UN Global Compact?Communication on Progress.