The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) is engaged in internal and external discussions about what it means in practice to respect the human right to water and sanitation.
Through water stewardship program, TCCC have implemented a rights-based approach to water. TCCC requires their operations to assess vulnerabilities to community water sources, determine potential impacts from their water use and discharge of treated wastewater, and then address potential issues in a Source Water Protection Plan.
TCCC has evaluated its rights-based approach to community water issues based on the CEO Water Mandate’s Guidance for Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation. As an outcome of this evaluation, TCCC found that their approach aligns quite well with the Mandate’s guidance.
TCCC’s rights-based approach is embedded within their water stewardship program (which has an audit and governance program in place). This requirement includes the development of Source Vulnerability Assessments (or SVAs) that determine the risks present for a given water source, and implementation of a Source Water Protection Plan (or SWPP). Implementation of SWPPs remains a priority and will receive enhanced governance focus going forward. Many SVAs and SWPPs are coming due for updates in their fifth year, which will provide an excellent opportunity to close any gaps in the current plans, inclusive of community water issues.
TCCC rights-based approach requires that their operations:
- Ensure manufacturing operations respect and support the water rights of people, nature, business, and government;
- Complete a basic assessment of the sustainability of the community’s source of water if the facility’s source of process water is different than the local community’s source;
- Evaluate if the facility’s water use limits the availability of sufficient quantities of water and negatively impacts the quality of water for the people in the local community; and
- Take actions to mitigate any adverse effects.
The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC).