San Miguel has taken steps to get the "Blue Certificate”, a distinction that recognizes companies for their responsible use of water.
Responsible use of water has a dominant role in San Miguel's environmental management. The efficient management of natural resources is part of the company's DNA and water —which is essential for life and food production— is vital for the sustainable development of our production activities.
Within this context, San Miguel joined the Water Footprint Program in Peru created by the Autoridad Nacional del Agua (National Water Authority) of Peru. This initiative encourages participating companies to measure their water footprint, run water saving projects and implement initiatives having an impact on neighboring communities, such as efforts to raise awareness of the importance of this resource and good consumption practices.
As a result, at the end of the process, the Autoridad Nacional del Agua grants the Certificado Azul (Blue Certificate), the recognition given to the organizations that successfully meet the commitments made to reduce their water footprint.
San Miguel started this process by analyzing its water footprint in grape, avocado and mandarin production, and implemented a number of projects to have a positive impact through reduced water consumption per ton of fruit produced.
Pablo Zócalo, Operations Manager in Peru, says that “While San Miguel uses one of the most efficient irrigation systems in the fruits and vegetables industry, we always challenge ourselves to seek opportunities to improve the use of such a valuable resource not only for the company, but also for all the communities we are part of.”
In order to reduce water loss, we have roofed the reservoirs in Chincha to prevent evaporation, while in Chepén we have replaced irrigation hoses with new models that are more efficient. We also plan to hold awareness workshops at schools in the neighboring communities to raise awareness of water saving at home and encourage proper hand-washing.
The results of this work showed that in our Chincha and Chepén locations, water footprint decreased by 19 percent from one crop year (2017-2018) to the other (2018-2019), being avocado cultivation the largest contributor to this reduction with a 32 percent saving.