Water scarcity is currently recognized as one of the largest risks at global level. Overexploitation and competitiveness over shared fresh water resources are some of the growing problem that affected many countries in Europe. The Italian region of Emilia Romagna is characterized by particularly high water-related risks principally due to water scarcity, droughts and a baseline water stress. Private and public sectors are driven to find alternative or best-practice strategies to conserve and optimize the water resource and guarantee a future use to all.
Philip Morris International, with support of the INOGEN International Alliance and environmental consultants Denkstatt and HPC, implemented the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) in order to promote a sustainable and feasible water use in all of its facilities, both in Italy, Europe and global level. After the Portuguese and Turkish affiliate, the Italian facility of Crespellano, implemented the AWS Standard.
Amongst its achievements, the Italian facility has contributed to regional policies by actively facing the water stress risks linked to the Provincial territory of Bologna. This has been done by implementing sustainable solutions: on-site innovative recycling technologies and water saving settings, catchment-level engagement campaigns with environmental protection authorities, associations, industrial federations, water-demanding companies and any other water users. The reduction of potable water used on-site reduced the amount of water extracted and removed from sensitive water-related environments, whilst catchment-level awareness campaign implemented a sustainable water governance amongst other water-users by engaging the entire catchment community, in order to benchmark challenges, water-related issues and apply sustainable solutions at a larger scale.