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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
LONDON – Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announce the addition of Target (NYSE: TGT), a general merchandise retailer that serves guests at more than 1,800 stores, and Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, to the AgWater Challenge. The two companies’ new water stewardship commitments were shared today at the Financial Times Water Summit in London.
Ceres and WWF first launched the AgWater Challenge in 2016 to encourage better water stewardship among the world’s most influential food and beverage companies. Target and ADM join seven participating companies who have made commitments to better protect freshwater resources in their agricultural supply chains. With the global food sector using 70 percent of the world’s freshwater supply, food and beverage companies play an important role in protecting water quality and quantity.
“We welcome Target and ADM’s new commitments to reduce their water impacts,” said Eliza Roberts, a senior manager at Ceres, “We encourage more companies to take action to go further faster in their efforts to preserve and protect freshwater resources for generations to come.”
“As human demand for water grows—particularly for agriculture, the pressures on critical freshwater ecosystems also grow,” said Lindsay Bass, manager of Corporate Water Stewardship at WWF. “When companies like Target and ADM embrace water stewardship across their agricultural supply chains, they set the stage for others to follow. With more of the food value chain represented in the AgWater Challenge, participating companies can now better leverage, scale and build meaningful projects in the places that need it most.”
By adding a major food retailer operating in every U.S. state and a global food processing conglomerate, the AgWater Challenge significantly increases the acreage farmed with water stewardship in mind.
As the first retailer to join the AgWater Challenge, Target’s commitments to improve water stewardship include:
“Participating in the AgWater Challenge is another example of how we’re working to strengthen the health and vitality of the communities where we live, the people we serve and the planet we all share,” said Jennifer Silberman, vice president, corporate responsibility, Target. “These new commitments align with our goals of creating healthy ecosystems and improving sustainable water management.”
With a global value chain that includes approximately 500 crop procurement locations, 270 food and feed ingredient manufacturing facilities, 44 innovation centers and the world’s premier crop transportation network, ADM has made several time-bound measurable commitments to address water quality challenges across their value chain. ADM’s commitments to improve water stewardship include:
“At ADM, sustainable practices and a focus on environmental responsibility aren’t separate from our primary business: they are integral to the work we do every day to serve customers and create value for shareholders,” said Alison Taylor, ADM’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Everything we do starts with growers and participating in the AgWater Challenge presents us with a great opportunity to influence growing practices and make a tangible difference in water conservation practices for years to come.”
Target and ADM join seven companies already participating in the AgWater Challenge including Diageo, General Mills, Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Hormel Foods, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, and Danone North America (formerly WhiteWave Foods). Since committing to advance their sustainable water sourcing strategies in 2016, the original AgWater Challenge companies have made significant strides in engaging with farmers and suppliers across their value chain, sourcing responsibly, and reducing their overall exposure to water risks.
As part of the AgWater Challenge, companies also pledge greater transparency about the success of commitments, their ability to drive more resilient production systems and positive impacts they have made in freshwater basins.
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Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
For more than 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than 1.2 million members in the United States and 5 million supporters globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Visit worldwildlife.org to learn more.