Insights

Postscript: Water, Water Everywhere

by | Mar 20, 2014

Key Insight

Awareness is an important first step.  But we need to move from awareness to action.

Yesterday I highlighted some high-profile initiatives announced last week by specialty roasters in the United States.

The Keurig Green Mountain water stewardship work, in my mind, is particularly impressive for the degree to which it is embedded in the company’s core business: it sees water as both central to its business model and as a central constraint to the economic and human development of communities in its supply chain.  For the quality of the thinking behind its strategy: its five-part “water policy” is carefully considered and comprehensive.  For the breadth of the water-sector partnerships it has developed: American Rivers, Global Water Initiative (CARE, CRS, IIED, IUCN), Raise the River, charity: water, Water for People.  For the scope of its investments: $11 million in new commitments this year.  And for its ambitious aspirations for impact: clean water for 1 million people by 2020.  Keurig Green Mountain has positioned itself in these ways to be a leader in the sector.

This is not to say that roasters that may share Keurig Green Mountain’s concern for the issue and commitment to act but not, perhaps, its resources, cannot make important contributions to improve water resource management.  For most roasters, the best way to be part of the solution may be to avoid becoming part of the problem to begin with.  To take care of the water in their own supply chains before thinking about taking care of the water needs of others.  But how?