Companies Need to Develop Water Strategies, Groups Say
On Sept. 19, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and the
Pacific Institute released a new report that seeks to explain the
drivers behind water trends, their implications for business and how to
prepare for developing water issues.
"It is clear that water trends pose a threat to business," said Emma
Stewart, Ph.D., BSR director of environmental strategy. "In the next
two to five years, companies will need to adapt to availability,
quality and access concerns. Proactive corporate action that
dramatically overhauls how companies use and invest in water supplies
will be crucial for mitigating risks, gaining regulatory and community
goodwill, and improving reputation."
A global crisis is emerging as freshwater resources become scarcer
or polluted and businesses increasingly grapple with water constraints
in various sourcing, production and retail sites around the world.
According to the United Nations, if present consumption patterns
continue, two-thirds of the world's population will live in
water-stressed conditions by the year 2025. More than 1 billion people
around the world lack reliable access to clean drinking water, and 2.5
billion people lack adequate sanitation.
"Today's corporations need a water strategy that goes well beyond
tracking inputs and outputs," said Jason Morrison, program director for
the Pacific Institute. "'At the Crest of a Wave' can help corporations
design and implement a comprehensive approach to managing water risks
The report, "At the Crest of a Wave: A Proactive Approach to Corporate
Water Strategy," can be accessed in PDF format at http://www.bsr.org/csrresources/environment/resourcesdocs/BSR_Water-Trends.pdf.