March 23, 2020
World Water Day 2020: Protecting Water Across the Globe
Every March, people from around the world come together to honor and celebrate World Water Day. This year, its official theme is more important now than ever before:
"World Water Day 2020, on 22 March, is about water and climate change - and how the two are inextricably linked. Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases. We cannot afford to wait. Everyone has a role to play."
As a beverage and food company supported by nature's many gifts, we recognize the role we must play in reinforcing and promoting the sustainability of water to benefit people, communities, and society. Water is a precious resource and because of its great significance, for years, Suntory employees from around the world have participated in World Water Day.
This year we announced our "Suntory Group Global Water Action," a program for Suntory employees to participate in various volunteer activities throughout March and May, such as beach and river cleanups, preserving local forests, and more. This collective effort to protect water across the globe furthers our mission "To create harmony with people and nature."
In addition to participating in social contribution activities through events such as World Water Day, we believe it is our responsibility to preserve and regenerate the natural environment through sustainable business practices. Our Suntory Group Sustainable Water Philosophy guides how we address relevant water issues through various business activities, and is based on four principles:
- Understanding the natural cycle of water: We rely on quality water to produce our quality beverages. At Suntory, we investigate watersheds around our sites to study and understand the local hydrological cycle, often using a scientific approach when needed. In Japan, we established 21 Suntory Natural Water Sanctuaries to cultivate and protect water resources by improving the function of healthy forests and maintaining their rich biodiversity.
- Promoting environmentally conscious water use: In every aspect of our business, we participate in environmentally conscious water use through 3R activities (reduce, reuse, and recycle) to lessen our environmental impact on the natural water cycle. It is our responsibility to return water to nature after adequate treatment.
- Conserving watersheds: This important principle focuses on conserving our watersheds to improve local water in quality and quantity. One of the main purposes of our Natural Water Sanctuaries is to recharge and preserve groundwater by maintaining forests' natural functions. Additionally, our Bird Conservation Activities are designed to enhance biodiversity within forests and promote global environmental conservation through the protection of wild birds. Today, our Hakushu Distillery in Yamanashi Prefecture acts as a wild bird sanctuary and relay point for migration.
- Engaging with the local community: We strive to support and engage with local communities by fostering collective action to solve water issues. We believe our current efforts to protect and preserve the environment and its water sources must be in preparation for the future. Our Suntory Mizuiku-Education Program for Nature and Water teaches the next generation about the importance of water and the forests that nurture the groundwater, so that they may ensure and enjoy a rich natural environment in the future.
As this year's World Water Day theme calls for consistent, present-day action, we are renewing our commitment to protecting and preserving water as a natural resource for years to come.