Asahi Group products are made from a diverse range of agricultural products, including both those produced in Japan and those imported from other countries. We therefore believe that it is essential to have an accurate understanding of and control the social, economic and environmental impacts of the supply chain, instead of simply ensuring the safety and peace of mind of consumers.
The Asahi Group's assessments of water risks at its production sites make use of WRI Aqueduct (world maps and data provided by the World Resources Institute (WRI) that show water risks) to geographically identify areas with high-level water risks, such as drought risks, for each production site.
The Group defines areas for which the overall water risk is displayed in WRI Aqueduct as “extremely high risk” as “areas at high overall risk from drought and other water risks.” As a result of assessments conducted based on this definition it was found that, as of 2019, among all of the production sites for which the Asahi Group manages environmental data, one production plant in Indonesia qualifies under the definition.
Since 2019 we have begun collecting data, including water usage data, for that plant, and are considering countermeasures against those risks. We also found that, based on an assessment of water stress risks (the degree of stress between water supply and demand) alone, two of our production plants in Italy also qualify as being at extremely high risk. We have also ascertained survey results for past water risk (vulnerability) surveys in Europe, and begun considering possible countermeasures against such risks.
At production sites in Japan, no sites were found to meet the definition of being at high risk from water risks under the above assessment criteria. However, we have now started conducting our own more detailed water risk (vulnerability) surveys, which include not only water stress risks but also flood risks relating to climate change, at Asahi Group production plants and in their surrounding drainage basins. We plan to conduct these surveys at two plants in Japan during 2020, and to conduct further surveys of plants at production locations in Oceania and other regions in the future.
Going forward, we will continue to regularly survey our production sites and raw material suppliers using tools such as WRI Aqueduct to verify the presence of water risks. If any of our production sites are found to have a high level water risk, we will take appropriate measures in accordance with specific details of the risk and social circumstances in the area.
As shown below, the Asahi Group conducted a survey aimed at analyzing water risk in the process for making raw materials and evaluating its economic effects on the Group's business.
Key raw materials that are used in large amounts in the manufacture of Asahi Group products, and that are difficult to substitute and procured from overseas
59 regions worldwide
Water footprint of raw materials*
Natural capital costs (external expenses)
September 2014 - May 2015
Water scarcity investigation in supplier regions
Water footprint investigation for raw materials in each region
Assessment of natural capital costs
Comparison with market prices
*The water footprint is the amount of water used both directly and indirectly throughout the full manufacturing lifecycle for foods and other products
This survey used the concept of “natural capital” to quantify water risks in key raw material production processes of the Asahi Group as economic values. The results of this quantification were shown as “natural capital costs,” demonstrating possible future costs in various scenarios such as raw material price rises. This makes it possible to understand the extent of the environmental impact (environmental risks and opportunities), which had previously been impossible to quantify. Furthermore, the use of resources with minimized risks can increase business model sustainability.
While factors such as climate change are expected to reduce the amount of usable environmental resources in the future, the Asahi Group has established a management strategy based on its evaluation of “natural capital” with the aim of continuing to maintain competitiveness in world markets subject to intense resources restriction.
The results of this survey clarified which of the raw material suppliers from the 59 regions worldwide need to be prioritized to counter risks. As this survey was completely based on secondary data, we were also able to reconfirm the need for local surveys of supplier agricultural practices and the social conditions surrounding suppliers.
As a result of the above water risk survey, it was found to be necessary to conduct onsite confirmations. Since 2017, we have interviewed our suppliers regarding the state of water risks when conducting supplier quality audits.
|Risk of water shortage||
Quality inspections were conducted at a total of 114 plants from 2017 to 2019, and the following responses were obtained.
If any water risk is clearly shown to exist, we will take appropriate measures in accordance with specifics of the risk and social circumstances.