British retailers have backed a cross-sector water-saving initiative launched on World Water Day.
A partnership between anti-waste campaigners WRAP, WWF and the Rivers Trust tagged ‘Water Ambition’ is pushing signatories to deliver water reductions and support collective action to improve water quality across the country.
The scheme is part of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025, which aims to cut food and drink industry resources by a fifth before 2025.
Laurence Webb, responsible sourcing manager at Tesco said: “We’re really pleased to support the Courtauld Commitment 2025 Water Ambition, especially its focus on collective action in the supply chain, which accounts for the vast majority of our water footprint.
“The Courtauld Commitment 2025 Water Ambition provides a framework to address complex water sustainability challenges through a combination of improved farming practices, new innovation and advocacy at catchment level."
Key arable catchment areas of rivers including Medway, Tamar, Eden and Cam suffer from water stress in terms of quantity and availability according to WRAP.
The scope of Water Ambition will reach beyond just the UK, with WWF helping to expand the scale of the work into international regions that have water risks. These include the Western Cape in South Africa, southern Spain, and the Kenyan regions of Naivasha, Nanyuki, Thika and Nairobi; all key fruit and veg producing regions for UK imports.
Beth Hart, head of agriculture at Sainsbury’s, added: “Sainsbury’s is proud to support the new C2025 Water Ambition as part of our global efforts to reach our sustainability plan targets. Our commitment is to work collaboratively with water companies, NGOs, local authorities and our neighbours to protect river basins and promote integrated water management.”