Yili obtains international water footprint verification both at the product and organizational levels

·3 min read

QUZHOU, China, March 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 6, 2023, Longyou Yili Dairy Co., Ltd., one of Yili's liquid milk plants in Zhejiang Province, and Yili's AMBPOMIAL Greek-style Yogurt received water footprint verification issued by Bureau Veritas, making them the first liquid milk factory and the first yogurt product in China's dairy industry to obtain water footprint certification in compliance with the international standard ISO 14046.

Zhou Wenxia (right), Vice President of Yili Group, and Han Jing, President of BV China at the certification ceremony held at the Yili Modern Intelligent Health Valley
Zhou Wenxia (right), Vice President of Yili Group, and Han Jing, President of BV China at the certification ceremony held at the Yili Modern Intelligent Health Valley

This marks another milestone in Yili Group's ongoing efforts to implement water conservation projects and mitigate water scarcity risks in its value chain since the water footprint verification of an ice cream factory in 2022.

Water scarcity is a major global environmental concern, and as one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity by 2030.

Yili Group took the lead in exploring and adopting the "Low Water Footprint" (LWF) strategy in the dairy and food industries. In 2022, Yili Group established a Carbon Neutrality Committee headed by Chairman and President Pan Gang. The committee is also responsible for the group's water resources management, integrated planning of water intake and water use, and exploring innovative solutions for water stewardship in its entire supply chain.

In 2022, Yili took its Zhejiang factory as a pilot to carry out organizational level LCA (full life cycle) water footprint research and management, and has obtained the water footprint verification issued by the British Standards Institution, becoming the first China food company that obtains the transparent and credible water footprint certification.

As world well-known certification group established in 1828, Bureau Veritas strictly refers to the international standard ISO 14046: 2014 "Environmental management — Water footprint — Principles, requirements and guidelines" and ISO/ TS 14072: 2014 "Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines for organizational life cycle assessment" to verify the water footprint of Yili's products and factories. The verification statement reveals that water consumption mainly happened in the supply chain, which confirms Yili's efforts to reduce water footprint across the supply chain, and provides guidelines for cooperating with suppliers to conserve water resources.

To further analyze the water stress areas where Yili and its suppliers are located, Yili Group adopted the Aqueduct tool of the World Resources Institute, combined with the available water remaining (AWARE) tool developed by the WULCA Working Group of the UNEP-SETAC Lifecycle Initiative. The water stress risk map generated by Yili helps formulate value chain water conservation goals and plan targeted activities, such as water conservation projects and best practices within its facilities. The continuous reduction of the water footprint of Yili products helps alleviate the pressure on water resources in high-risk areas.

In 2022, Yili Group aimed at regions with a high risk of water stress, sorted out water-saving potentials, and carried out 322 water-saving projects, involving various products such as mineral water, milk powder, liquid milk, yogurt, and ice cream products, covering all factories. In 2022, the percentage of water consumption from alternative water sources is 4.07% and the total water-saving reached 1.7 million tons.

The water resources stewardship of Yili Group is based on the self-developed digital management platform. This platform can not only manage the data of all water intake, water consumption and water recycling, but also be able to calculate the water footprint of the product life cycle according to international standards. The third-party verification and certification will also enable the digital platform to provide a solid foundation for better management of water risks.

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SOURCE Yili Group