AB Sugar


the innovate irrigation challenge

On a mission to find ideas from all over the world to help reduce water loss in sugar and beyond.


We can’t fight water scarcity alone:
this affects us all

Water is essential, agri-food businesses such as our own, understand the important role of this vital resource and we are determined to use it appropriately.  From growing the sugar beet and cane in fields, through to operational processes at our factories, water is essential.

We continue to return clean and potable water to rivers and reservoirs in Europe and in our Southern African operations we support the communities having access to clean and safe water.

Whilst we have come some way in reducing the use of this resource, there is always more we can do to reduce our environmental footprint, which is why we are excited to be launching 'The Innovate Irrigation Challenge’ to draw on ideas from across the globe.


where are we now?

Across our businesses we are using a mix of irrigation technologies including furrow, drip, sprinkler, linear and pivot. How could we use them better? Are these the best technologies to irrigate crops? How can we adopt technologies within challenging environments and climates? Our sugar plants are often located in remote rural areas and face different climate change issues such as droughts or floods.

what we need to achieve

Growing sugar is water intensive and we are taking steps to conserve it. Improving water efficiency per tonne of sugar and driving stewardship by using less drop per crop is integral to a sustainable sugar business. Can you help us use less drop per crop? 

are we missing an opportunity​?

We continually invest in new technologies but is there an opportunity to think differently in solving this challenge? How do we incentivise behaviours in our supply chain? Where is there great practice across the world that we could learn from or replicate to improve the pace of change?

This is an exciting opportunity for everyone to share their innovative ideas about how water loss in agriculture can be tackled – whether you are an academic, policy expert, conservationist, farmer or passionate about the environment – we want to hear from you.

our 2030 global sustainability commitments

To help us achieve our vision of being the world’s leading sustainable sugar business, in April 2018 we integrated our Group-wide commitments into our ‘Global Mind, Local Champions’ framework. These industry leading goals are designed to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their objectives for 2030. To find out more about why we recognise the need to take further action to reduce our environmental footprint, take a look at our 2030 commitments