Food & Water Security

By 2050, feeding a planet of 10 billion people will require an estimated 60% increase in agricultural production. The global food system faces multiple challenges: growing population, farmer livelihoods, and protecting natural resources while adapting to climate change. Likewise, water systems are under stress: from 1990 to 2050, the number of people living in water-stressed regions will have increased tenfold while valuable drinking water is lost in cities’ distribution networks.

 


Orbia delivers resource-efficient irrigation solutions to farmers for food security: increasing crop yields, minimizing water and fertilizer usage, reducing GHG emissions from farming, enabling local food production and extended growing seasons through greenhouse solutions. All of this improves the economic well-being and social progression of farmers.

We also provide solutions for smart, city-scale water management and access to drinking water, while working with partners to protect watersheds and promote water security.

Our contributions to the SDGs:

Direct

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  • Target 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, help maintain ecosystems to strengthen their capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding, and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
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  • Target 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

 

 

Indirect

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  • Target 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.
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  • Target 12.2 By 2030, achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
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  • Target 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

 

How Orbia is making a difference:

Community Irrigation model

Netafim's Community Irrigation model organizes small shareholders into “irrigation communities” that benefit from a regular water supply through improved infrastructure, efficient irrigation equipment, and a hub of technical and commercial assistance that enables farmers to thrive. Netafim trains farmers and helps them manage issues over five-year periods so that farmers can be confident in their ability to self-sustain in the long term, especially while facing the effects of climate change. Until 2020, eight projects have been developed, impacting more than 97,000 farmers across 202 villages and increasing yields by 100% over current farming practices.

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Sustainable rice at scale

Netafim’s drip irrigation system is demonstrating an effective solution to inefficient flood irrigation. When compared to conventional rice paddy farming, Netafim’s drip irrigation technology out-produces paddy cultivation, using 70% less water, 30% less fertilizer, and 36% less energy while reducing methane emissions to nearly zero and arsenic uptake by up to 90%. This technology has now been installed in 2,000 hectares of rice fields globally, including Brazil, Turkey, Italy, India and Ukraine. As part of our efforts to increase the adoption of sustainable practices, Netafim revealed the first carbon credit program for rice growers at COP27, providing an attractive alternative to financially assist farmers in adopting sustainable or regenerative agricultural practices.

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Water Funds to promote water security

Orbia’s business groups address water scarcity by supporting the Latin American Water Funds Partnership in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Water Funds design and promote financial and governance mechanisms, engaging public, private, and civil society stakeholders in order to contribute to water security through solutions grounded on nature-based infrastructure and the sustainable management of watersheds.

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Circular solutions for dairy farms

Netafim’s subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system recycles organic waste generated by dairy cows and optimizes levels of fresh water to fertilize and irrigate feed crops while eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers. Environmental benefits include healthier soil and root environment, water, nutrient and energy conservation, and GHG emissions reduction (between 70% and 90% compared to traditional methods).

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Producing more corn with less

One of the world’s most productive grains, corn is the third-largest plant-based food source in the world, with 1.2 billion metric tons produced in the last year. The most important crop in the U.S., corn is also cultivated in China, South America, India, Ukraine and across Europe, grown extensively as food for both humans and livestock, as a biofuel, and as a crude material for industrial purposes. The results of Netafim’s corn LCA, conducted by EcoChain during 2020, show that drip irrigation is a much more advanced offering than flood or sprinkler irrigation in terms of minimizing negative environmental impact and optimizing yield.

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Local food cultivation with greenhouses

In early 2021, Netafim acquired Gakon Horticultural Projects, a leading Dutch turnkey greenhouse solutions provider. With Gakon’s specialist expertise in all aspects of greenhouse project execution and Netafim’s established leadership in advanced irrigation technologies, local food cultivation can now become a reality around the world.

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Trenchless water infrastructure rehabilitation

ZinZanja uses compact pipe and eight other no-dig technologies for urban water installations and aging water infrastructure upgrades, offering gains in direct costs (with reductions up to 75%), times-to-completion, resource efficiency, maintenance needs and resiliency. Wavin has installed over 1.5 million meters of ZinZanja worldwide to fix old buildings, repair leaking pipes, and reliably carry water to citizens worldwide.

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Scalable rainwater harvesting systems

To provide water to rural communities across Central America, Wavin has installed more than 3,000 systems over the past four years, improving water supply to more than 20,000 people. In 2021, more than 200 rainwater harvesting systems were installed in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

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Smart water network management

High volumes of valuable drinking water are lost in cities’ distribution networks due to broken pipes, leaking fittings, aging infrastructure, etc. Wavin’s Water Network Management is an intelligent diagnostic service for water management. It helps utilities and water companies in Latin America monitor and reduce water losses in distribution networks through advanced technology that includes machine learning and a 24/7 monitoring and analysis center. 

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Keeping beehives healthy

To prevent mite infestation in hives, beekeepers put strips in their hives that deliver necessary mite protection without harming bees or contaminating their honey. Our SUPERKLEEN™ vinyl compound—formulated with a phthalate-free, bio-based plasticizer—was the perfect starting point for this application since it’s cleared for use in food-contact products. 

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Streamline X ReGen™

First introduced in Europe, this unique dripline uses the highest quality recycled material, while increasingly eliminating the need for packaging. Streamline X ReGen maintains the same high level of product quality and performance while using a method to leverage recycled materials. In 2022, this full-scale circularity program expanded into Mexico with the opening of the country's largest agricultural plastic recycling facility. On the journey to full circularity, Netafim currently operates a variety of recycling programs across its plant in Fresno, California, as well as sites in Australia, Israel, Peru, Chile, and Spain, among others.

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