Companies all over the world are prioritising water security, it would seem, with a new report from CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, revealing that this year firms committed $23.4 billion across more than 1,000 different projects throughout 91 countries to tackle water risk head on.
Strategies include reclaiming waste water, desalination and improving irrigation to avoid droughts. The 2017 Global Water Report showed a 193 per cent hike in businesses paving the way where water stewardship is concerned, demonstrating that a water-secure world is indeed possible and that the transition has already begun
However, the report did go on to note that water needs to be recognised as the fundamental asset that it is for companies and cities on a global scale in order for a water-secure world to truly be achieved.
Luckily, many big name companies are now taking action, with 70 per cent of firms surveyed this year having board level oversight of water issues, reaping rewards such as shareholder confidence, market differentiation and business resilience. Businesses like Palmolive, Colgate, Diageo and Nestle have implemented internal values on water so as to account for the environmental and social benefits and costs
In terms of case studies that might prove inspirational for companies that are yet to take action, Danone for example has committed $59 million to projects to secure sustainable access to raw materials like milk supplies in sub-Saharan areas and fruit supplies from China. And AU Optronics, a Taiwanese tech company, has already invested $49.7 million to improve its water use efficiency across all its sites by boosting water recycling to 90 per cent.
Water is absolutely essential for the ecosystem, human survival, reducing diseases and improving the health and productivity of people everywhere. It’s also the link between the climate system, the environment and human society, with UN Water noting that without appropriate water governance in place it’s likely that there will be increased competition for water between different industries and sectors, and an escalation of water-related crises of numerous kinds – which could trigger emergencies in certain sectors that are dependent upon it.
Water scarcity, for example, already affects every corner of the globe. Water use has been growing around the world at over twice the rate of population increase in the last 100 years and a growing number of places are now reaching the limit at which such services can be delivered sustainably, particularly in dry and arid regions.
While UN Water does stress that there isn’t currently a global water shortage as such at the moment, there are individual places that must tackle water stress-related critical issues urgently. It must be treated as a scarce resource and demand management must be prioritised. This means that governments will have to align water use patterns with the demands of different users, which naturally also includes the environment.
If you’d like to find out more and want to talk to a team of water conservation consultants, get in touch with us at H2O Building Services today. Call 01924 387 873 or email email@example.com