We recognize that healthy, sustainable watersheds are essential to communities, the environment and manufacturing our products, and that we have an important role to play. That’s why we’re focused on both water use and water quality in our operations, as well as engaging locally with other water users and stakeholders.
We take seriously our role as a water steward in the basins where we operate, and we establish processes and targets accordingly. We have continuously improved our overall water footprint since 2010. This includes significant improvement in the quality of water we return to the environment, and a 4.5% reduction in total water use per ton of production.
Across our global footprint we return more than 90 percent of the water we use back to waterways, and across our industry a drop of water is re-used up to ten times. We conduct a robust facilities water risk assessment to guide our approach, and we engage with communities, regulators and other users to address watershed-level concerns. Beyond our manufacturing operations we recognize that about three-quarters of all available freshwater in the world originates in forests, so by promoting responsible forestry practices we are also supporting healthy watersheds.
As we look toward 2020 and beyond, we are evolving our strategy from a focus on water management to one of water stewardship, to improve the long-term sustainability of water resources where we live and work. We believe that stewardship means striving to leave everything better than it was before we found it — and we are extending this approach to water, both within our operations and beyond.