Environmental Protection

Water Footprint Meeting to Be Held in London

Experts are predicting that, during 2009, water resource issues will become an integral element of corporate reporting, moving from an optional comment in the environmental statement to an essential feature in Annual Reports and Accounts.

According to a March 18 press release, there is a growing awareness among the investment community of the relevance of water footprint as an indicator of corporate risk. During 2008 Citi, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley all issued water-focused research reports. The Ceres/Pacific Institute report (February 2009) took the discussion a step further with guidelines on sector-specific risks from water scarcity and the impacts of climate change.\

This move coincides with a growing concentration on water issues across the business community. Many believe that “water is the new carbon.” Organizations with long-standing success in the areas of water resource management are now sharing best practice with those businesses embarking on water footprinting initiatives for the first time. The stage is set for massive worldwide improvement in corporate water use by 2010.

A panel of industry experts will bring together the latest research and techniques at an important new conference “Corporate Water Footprinting and Managing Water Resources” taking place in London on May 28 – 29. The conference, organized by Agra Informa, publisher of Water Resource News, will be assessing the likely impact of global water shortages and considering practical solutions to this major business challenge.

Speakers include experts in corporate water sustainability including Dr Hilary Green, head of R & D Communications for Nestlé; Dave Challis, head of Sustainability EMEA, Kimberly-Clark; John Temple, R&D Sustainability director, Unilever; and internationally-recognized academics including Professor John Anthony Allan, 2008 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, and representatives from the European Environment Agency, Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) and Rabobank.

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