Bisleri Proposes Water Credit System for the Beverage Industry

Bisleri Proposes Water Credit System for the Beverage Industry

Introduction of Water Credit System for the beverage industry.

In a significant move towards environmental sustainability, Bisleri, a leading packaged water manufacturer, has proposed the introduction of water credits for the beverage industry. With its potential to enhance accountability and promote responsible water usage among beverage makers, this innovative concept offers a beacon of hope for a more sustainable future.

Partnership with TERI for Benchmark Study

Bisleri has partnered with TERI School of Advanced Studies to conduct a comprehensive study that will set benchmarks for water conservation in the beverage industry. This study is intended to pave the way for a framework that advances the concept of water credits, akin to carbon credits, making companies more accountable for their water consumption.

Green Credit for Water Conservation

The proposed water credit system would allow companies to earn credits through various water conservation activities such as harvesting, efficient water use, and wastewater treatment and reuse. These credits could then be traded, similar to carbon credits, to offset their water footprint.

“The water sector can generate green credits through water conservation, water harvesting, and water use efficiency, including treatment and reuse of wastewater,” Bisleri stated. This initiative is part of a broader effort to encourage sustainable practices within the industry.

Framework Development and Government Collaboration

Bisleri plans to share its findings with the central government to facilitate discussions and develop a robust framework for the water credit system. Angelo George, CEO of Bisleri International, emphasized the collaborative nature of this initiative. “This report is about proposing a model to the government—they can use and craft it. So, we are inviting the government to set up a platform as quickly as possible, similar to carbon credits, using this as a template,” George said in an interview.

Localized Approaches for Water Savings

The study undertaken by Bisleri and TERI will review national and international practices in water trading and credits and develop a framework to estimate the water footprint of production units. The water footprint of two Bisleri production units in distinct terrains will be tested and estimated, acknowledging that water savings require localized approaches considering factors such as rainfall and watershed-level consumption.

Addressing Water Scarcity in India

Water scarcity is an urgent and pressing issue in India, with 11 out of 15 major river basins expected to be water-stressed by 2025. This stark reality underscores the critical need for sustainable water management practices. Bisleri’s initiative, in alignment with the government’s Green Credit Program (GCP), which incentivizes voluntary environmental actions across various sectors, including water conservation and afforestation, is a timely and necessary response.

Industry Response and Challenges

The beverage industry has responded positively to the idea, recognizing it as a responsible approach to enhancing water efficiency. A senior executive noted, “This is a responsible way for the industry to be more water-efficient, although several large companies are already replenishing the water they use.”

However, the initiative faces potential challenges, particularly regarding implementing and validating water footprints for different units. Smaller units may need help matching the technology and resources available to larger companies, making it challenging to assess and validate their water footprints accurately.

Regulatory and Reputational Benefits

Implementing water credits could provide significant benefits for companies, including improved environmental practices, better acceptance of their products internationally, and reduced regulatory and reputational risks. Nitin Bassi, senior program lead for the sustainable water team at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), highlighted these advantages. “If companies are able to follow efficient water use practices and earn credits, their processes will be considered more environmentally friendly. This also reduces regulatory and reputational risk for organizations,” Bassi said.

Future Outlook

Bisleri’s proposal represents a significant step towards sustainable water management in the beverage industry. By promoting responsible water usage and creating a framework for water credits, the initiative aims to address water scarcity and support environmental conservation efforts. As the industry adapts to these new practices, the potential for a more sustainable and accountable approach to water usage becomes increasingly achievable.

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