Importance To Berry Global and our Stakeholders

Effective water management is important to limiting the impact of our operations on the environment as well as ensuring our operations in water scarce regions can continue to operate. This importance of water management is only increasing as the availability of fresh water decreases and global temperatures increase. While our primary use of water is for cooling, it is still important that we protect this critical natural resource.

Our Customers: Many of our customers depend on water to grow crops used in the production of their food products. Others use water as an ingredient in their products. Regardless, water is of critical importance to many of our customers. They expect us to manage water responsibly.

Our Investors: We are expected to effectively manage water in order to reduce operating costs and minimize water-related risks, including potential disruption to our operations.

Our Approach

Most of our water withdrawals are used for cooling in our converting operations. While cooling water is typically recycled, the majority of our water consumption is the result of evaporative losses from chillers. Our recycling operations also use water in their wash lines. Some of our nonwoven’s operations use water for hydroentanglement of the nonwoven fibers. A comparatively small volume of water is used for drinking and sanitation.

Outside of our direct operations, water is also utilized in our supply chain. For our key raw material, resin, water is also used for cooling. Further upstream, significant amounts of water are used in the process for drilling wells and fracking. Water use in our supply chain is more significant than in our direct operations.

We work to mitigate the local, water-related impact of our facilities in the communities in which we operate. In the majority of our communities, we are a minor user of water. In a few of our communities, we are a significant water user. In those communities, we coordinate closely with local authorities.

As outlined in our Environmental Management Policy, we are committed to minimizing our impact of our operations on the environment through continuous improvement. Our Impact 2025 strategy includes a goal to reduce water withdrawal intensity 1% year-over-year. This commitment is overseen by our Board of Directors, and improvements to our facilities are driven by the Executive VP of Operations. Through consistent monitoring and reporting of water withdrawals and consumption across our facilities, we can more easily locate and implement projects to reduce our water withdrawal intensity.

Highlights and Target Progress

Target 2023 Progress
Reduce Water Consumption Intensity 1% per year*
Water withdrawal intensity increased by 8.9% in 2023, after four years of improvements, due to reduced production rates.

*Normalized for production (M³ of water withdrawn per MT of production)

Key Metrics

The below metrics are based on Berry's Fiscal Years unless otherwise noted.

Water and Wastewater Management

  2021 2022 2023
Absolute Water Withdrawals Amount and Percentage of Total Withdrawals
M3 Percentage M3 Percentage M3 Percentage
Total Withdrawals 8,390,197 100% 7,521,862 100% 7,444,773 100%
Surface Water - 0% - 0% - 0%
Ground Water 1,020,332 12% 1,149,171 15% 1,090,480 15%
Municipal Water 7,369,865 88% 6,372,691 85% 6,354,293 85%
  Withdrawals from areas with Water Stress¹ and Percentage of Total Withdrawals
M3 Percentage M3 Percentage M3 Percentage
Total Withdrawals 1,707,543 20% 1,575,088 21% 1,810,170 24%
Surface Water - 0% - 0% - 0%
Ground Water 350,229 4% 361,652 5% 383,432 5%
Municipal Water 1,357,314 16% 1,213,436 15% 1,426,738 19%
Water Withdrawal Intensity Withdrawals per MT of Production (M³/MT)
All Withdrawals 2.01 1.91 2.08
Surface Water n/a n/a n/a
Ground Water 0.24 0.29 0.30
Municipal Water 1.77 1.62 1.78
  Withdrawals per MT of Production from areas with Water Stress¹ (M³/MT)
Total Withdrawals 2.55 2.51 1.89
Surface Water n/a n/a n/a
Ground Water 0.52 0.45 0.40
Municipal Water 2.03 1.93 1.49
Absolute Water Consumption² Amount and Percentage of Total Water Consumption
M3 Percentage M3 Percentage M3 Percentage
Total Consumption 1,889,963 100% 2,350,359 100% 1,139,645 100%
Consumption in areas with Water Stress¹ 358,650 19% 408,677 17% 305,146 27%
Absolute Water Discharge² Amount and Percentage of Total Discharge
M3 Percentage M3 Percentage M3 Percentage
Total Discharge 5,232,315 100% 6,027,934 100% 6,305,128 100%
Surface Water 774,226 15% 842,348 14% 2,470 0%
Ground Water 514,375 10% 569,846 9% 89,459 1%
Third Party (Sewer/Treatment) 3,943,715 75% 4,615,740 77% 6,213,199 99%
  Discharge in areas with Water Stress¹ and Percentage of Total Discharge
M3 Percentage M3 Percentage M3 Percentage
Total Discharge 889,035 17% 1,166,412 19% 1,505,023 24%
Surface Water 0 0% 4,019 0% 0 0%
Ground Water 0 0% 370,331 6% 886 0%
Third Party (Sewer/Treatment) 889,035 17% 792,062 13% 1,504,137 24%
Water Risk Number and Percentage of Facilities
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage
Facilities identified as High-Risk³ 46 16% 47 18% 66 28%
Facilities identified as Highest-Risk⁴ 17 6% 15 6% 22 9%
Facilities identified in areas with Water Stress¹ 42 15% 42 16% 62 26%
Facilities identified in areas with Water Stress¹ by 2030⁵ 82 29% 85 32% 81 35%
Facilities identified in areas with Water Stress¹ by 2040⁵ 84 30% 86 32% No Data n/a
Facilities identified in areas with Water Stress¹ by 2050⁵ No Data  n/a No Data n/a 94 40%
Facilities identified in areas with Water Stress¹ by 2080⁵
No Data  n/a No Data n/a 101 43%
1. Areas defined as having a high risk or greater baseline water stress using the WRI Aqueduct tool.
2. 2022 and 2023 Data includes facilities that were purchased as part of the acquisition of RPC Group in 2019. These facilities did not report water consumption and discharge metrics for previous years.
3. A high-risk facility is one that is located in an area considered high, or extremely high risk in any water risk category using the WRI Aqueduct tool.
4. Highest-risk facilities are facilities that have been identified as High Risk (see above) and their absolute water withdrawals or water withdrawal intensity are above the Berry Global average.
5. Areas defined as having a high risk or greater of baseline water stress by 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2080 using the WRI Aqueduct tool

Key Strategies

Clean running water to illustrate water efficiency projectsAs part of our company-wide water stewardship program, we assess our operational water risk, and promote water-related initiatives and site-specific projects that offer environmental and financial benefits to our business. We focus our efforts on facilities located in high-water risk areas and/or those that have above-average water usage. Ultimately, opportunities can be found at every facility to improve water management. We have also implemented Operation Clean Sweep® across our operations to help prevent pellet pollution in local water sources. 

Analyzing Water Risk

Water Risk Diagram 2023The potential environmental impact a facility could have on local ecosystems depends on both the water used by that facility and underlying basin conditions in the region. While we strive to reduce water withdrawals across all operations, greater focus is placed on the facilities in areas with higher water risk

To identify, analyze, and manage those risks, we conduct an annual water risk identification and mitigation process alongside our annual enterprise-level risk assessment. We use the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Tool to identify where basin conditions can cause water risk at our facilities. The tool utilizes opensource, peer-reviewed data to map associated water risks for all locations across the globe, such as risks related to baseline water stress, water quantity (water scarcity, drought, flooding), water quality (water pollution metrics), water regulations (erratic water governance), and water reputation (customer perception of water-related issues). We can also use the tool to identify potential locations that may experience baseline water stress in 2030 and 2040 under alternative scenarios. 

Sites identified as high-risk in a Water Risk Analysis - Berry Global

When a facility is situated in a location identified by WRI as high or extremely high risk in any of the major risk categories, we classify this facility as high-risk. Facility managers and divisional leaders for high-risk facilities are informed of their high-risk status and required to develop individual action plans at the site level to mitigate their water risk. These plans are focused on implementing best-practice improvements for on-site water efficiency and working with the local communities on water-related issues. 

 In addition, high-risk facilities are cross-referenced with annual water intensity metrics. Facilities with above-average water intensity levels are classified as the highest risk. These facilities must undertake specialized action plans in conjunction with the corporate water risk team to investigate, in detail, the current water requirements of the facility and identify efforts to reduce water intensity. Additional water withdrawal and consumption reduction targets may be put in place for these facilities to further prioritize efficiency improvements and mitigate water risk. In 2023, 28% of our facilities were identified as high risk, with 9% (22 facilities) considered highest risk. Additionally, 26% of facilities were identified as being in an area with baseline water stress, which is projected to rise to 35% by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario. 

We report annually on our water governance and risk identification processes to customers upon request through the CDP platform. Our latest disclosure can be found here.

Managing and Measuring Water Metrics

To fully assess the Impact of our water usage, we track the total water withdrawn, consumed, and discharged across the business. Water withdrawals reflect our total water usage, but only a small portion of this water is consumed through processes, mostly through evaporation. The majority of the water is withdrawn as processed water and discharged in the same condition from which it was withdrawn. However, several facilities draw from groundwater and surface water stores to supplement their water requirements. 

Water Withdrawals

A chart illustrating water withdrawals per MT of production - Berry GlobalIn 2023, absolute withdrawals fell by over 75,000 cubic meters (m³). While some of this reduction can be attributed to a drop in production volume, it is also a result of the implementation of water-saving initiatives. Unfortunately, this drop in production volume also contributed to our water withdrawal intensity rising during the period after multiple years of improvements. By continuing to focus efforts on implementing water efficiency projects, we hope to bring water intensity back to below 2022 levels in 2024. Using an analysis from the WRI Aqueduct tool, we also track water withdrawals in areas considered to have high risk or greater baseline water stress. At these facilities, there is increased focus on reducing water withdrawals and mitigating our impact. In 2023, these facilities represented 24% of our total water withdrawals, and withdrawal intensity across those facilities improved by 25%. 

Water Consumption and Discharge

Compared to the amount of water we withdraw, we consume only a small amount, with most consumption resulting from evaporative losses. While our focus is on reducing overall withdrawal requirements, we continue to explore projects to create closed-loop processes where possible to reduce water consumption. 

In 2022, we compiled data for water consumption at all facilities for the first time, with facilities acquired as part of the RPC acquisition not previously tracking consumption and discharge metrics. In 2023, consumption as a rate of total withdrawals fell from 31% to 15%, with improvements occurring as a result of projects implemented to minimize evaporative losses and execute closed-loop systems. 27% of water consumption occurs in areas with water stress. 

Water is usually discharged from our operations through municipal systems, such as third-party sewage treatment, with a small portion discharged as surface water back into the environment. Before discharge, we monitor and treat wastewater to ensure the appropriate quality for release, in line with all regional or local regulations, with individual parameters set for each facility. As such, we do not report wastewater discharge quality annually at a group-wide level. Data relating to wastewater discharge breaches can be found in the Environmental Compliance section

In 2023, just over 6.3 million m³ of water was discharged from across our operations, making up 85% of our total water withdrawals. 24% of our wastewater discharge occurred in areas of high, or very high, water stress as defined by WRI aqueduct.


Water Efficiency Projects

Water Operations - Adiabatic Coolers at a Berry factory

Many of our facilities operate similar manufacturing processes, making it possible to leverage best practices between sites. For example, installing equipment such as adiabatic coolers allow us to create cooling loops that recirculate water withdrawals around the facility before being withdrawn as wastewater. Water efficiency improvements are also implemented by engaging individually with each manufacturing facility, giving ownership to employees to understand water risks and discover innovative ways to reduce consumption


Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 6: Clean Water and SanitationSDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

We strive to conserve natural resources, which includes the water we withdraw, consume, & discharge, as part of our manufacturing process. Efficiently managing our water contributes to the provision & availability of clean water & sanitation, helping to ensure greater access to safe & affordable drinking water. 

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and InfrastructureSDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

By optimizing water use and adopting innovative water management practices, we increase our industrial efficiency and reduce resource consumption, thus promoting further sustainable infrastructure development and industrialization.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionSDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Like all other resources, the responsible management of our water is vital for achieving sustainable production patterns. By focusing on efficient water use, we reduce the environmental footprint of our manufacturing operations and promote resource efficiency. 

SDG 14: Life below WaterSDG 14: Life below Water

The prevention of water pollution safeguards marine ecosystems and helps reduce the negative impacts on oceans and marine life. By effectively managing the volume of water withdrawals across our business, we help ensure sufficient clean water is available to support aquatic ecology. 

GRI and SASB Alignment

GRI 303(3-3) Water and Effluents
GRI 303-1 Interactions With Water as a Shared Resource
GRI 303-2 Management of Water Discharge-Related Impacts
GRI 303-3 Water Withdrawal
GRI 303-4 Water Discharge
GRI 303-5 Water Consumption
SASB RT-CP-140a.1 (1) Total Water Withdrawn (2) Total Water Consumed, Percentage of Each in Regions with High or Extremely High Baseline Water Stress
SASB RT-CP-140a.2 Description of Water Management Risks and Discussion of Strategies and Practices to Mitigate Those Risks

Last Updated: April 9th 2024