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Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6742-6758; doi:10.3390/su7066742

Business Engagement with Sustainable Water Resource Management through Water Footprint Accounting: The Case of the Barilla Company

1
Department of Economics, Roma Tre University, Via Silvio D'Amico 77, 00145 Rome, Italy
2
Barilla G&R Fratelli SPA, via Mantova 166, 43122 Parma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arjen Y. Hoekstra
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Abstract

This study investigates business engagement in sustainable water management, focusing on water footprint accounting as a tool to account for water use in food supply chains. An explorative analysis is conducted on the Barilla Company. The study explores two corporate strategies aimed at achieving more sustainable water use: the adoption of environmental products declarations (EPDs), a reporting system that accounts for the environmental footprints of Barilla’s pasta and other products; and the implementation of the Aureo Wheat Programme. The study deployed both primary and secondary data. The study shows that the largest share of the water footprint of pasta relates to the cultivation phase (over 90%), which is almost fully rainfed. EPDs show that the water footprint of the other phases of the supply chain is negligible. It is argued that the use of water footprinting in EPDs can raise awareness about water use in agricultural supply chains to reach a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including consumers. The study also shows that the implementation of the Aureo Wheat Programme, consisting of a shift in cultivation site and in the type of wheat, enabled a reduction in the blue water footprint of pasta, with water savings amounting to 35 million m3 of blue water since 2011. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint; food supply chain; Barilla; environmental product declarations water footprint; food supply chain; Barilla; environmental product declarations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Antonelli, M.; Ruini, L.F. Business Engagement with Sustainable Water Resource Management through Water Footprint Accounting: The Case of the Barilla Company. Sustainability 2015, 7, 6742-6758.

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