Water is a precious resource abundant in Malaysia yet poorly cared for.
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Malaysia, despite being a country well blessed with heavy natural rainfall, often faces water woes.
Its citizens, especially those living in the Klang Valley, often face water cuts when water sources get polluted. Unscrupulous factories dump toxic waste into rivers, killing entire ecosystems. During our hot and dry seasons (like now!), some areas of the country even face drought!
Even worse? These incidents happen frequently.
Water is the building block of life, which is why clean water is so important to us. While Malaysia enjoys relatively heavy rainfall due to our geographic location and abundant rainforests, we often take water for granted.
According to our National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Malaysians use an average of 201 liters of water per person per day! For an average household of 4, that’s around 800 liters every single day!
But that’s just the people. What about our economy?
Actually, all manufacturing requires an intensive amount of water just to process materials and create an end product. For example, it takes about 1,890 liters of water to make a pair of jeans, and 500 liters of water to make a 2-liter bottle of soda. The cost of buying something is often more than its price, especially when you account for the water used in making the product. There is an environmental impact besides the sticker price you pay.
Still, it may come as a surprise to the general public to learn that brewers really, really care about water protection, from its source to its use, and take the greatest amount of care to treat water right.
After all, a key ingredient in all beers is water. Without water, it would be impossible to brew beer.
That’s why one of the largest brewers in Malaysia, Heineken, has been strongly gunning for key sustainability efforts and has consistently reduced water used in brewing their beer while leading the agenda on water stewardship– protecting water resources with a triangular approach.
Firstly, they ensure water efficiency. By making sure each liter of water is used efficiently with no waste, less water will be required to use in total.
Secondly, they maximize water circularity. They aim to maximise water circularity in water-stressed areas to have 100% of their wastewater worldwide treated in an appropriate manner.
Thirdly, they maintain water stewardship. Which is to say, they are taking responsibility of the water used in a collaborative effort.
In fact, Heineken Malaysia is expected to publish their water stewardship achievements over the next week, which would allow the public to judge for themselves the true benefits of such an implementation.
We’re looking forward to see how such a large brewer, producing our favourite brands including Heineken, Tiger, Guinness, Anchor, and Apple Fox is taking steps to ensure sustainability and accountability in its efforts to protect the long-term of sustainability of water supply.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.