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Fighting for Clean Water with Water Stewardship
Posted by Tiffany Day on Dec 10, 2014 10:40:00 AM
Over the past few years, businesses have started to see the implications that water-related risks have on their daily operations. The growing concern over water has reached policy-makers and non-governmental organizations around the world as they see the effects of water-related risks on cities and populations.
Ceres, a non-profit organization on sustainability leadership, asserts that there will be an increase in the demand for potable water and food during the next few years as global water-related risks intensify while market pressure for potable water builds up from existing economies and businesses. A McKinsey survey supports this claim and reports that the world may face global water shortage by 2030 based on the forecast demand and availability of water supply. A research published on Edie.net shows that many companies will not be able to meet and maintain the targeted volume of their production which, in turn, affects their bottom line, due to insufficient or polluted water supplies.
A number of industries consider water an integral part of their daily supply chain operations. Organizations use water as the main component, or at least a staple ingredient, in many food and beverage products, while other companies use water to cool industrial machinery, irrigate crops, and extract fossil fuels.
Something so vital in business operations needs to be addressed.
Water stewardship is slowly gaining traction in the business community due to the escalating issue of water scarcity. CDP advises companies to mitigate water-related challenges and risks through water stewardship. CDP has acknowledged that companies with a comprehensive water stewardship program have better chances of achieving business resilience and gaining competitive advantage. These companies have an in-depth knowledge of water use across their supply chain and understand the impact that water-related issues have in their respective industry.
Since potable water is the principal ingredient for beverage products, it is expected that breweries will join the advocacy on water stewardship. More than three dozen craft brewers teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to support the NRDC’s water stewardship campaign called Brewers for Clean Water. The campaign was launched last year to support new provisions enabling the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to enforce better clean water laws.
Major breweries in the US are starting their own water stewardship advocacy. MillerCoors, the second largest brewery in the US, conducted watershed assessments in brewery locations that experienced water risk in their agricultural supply chain. They have identified three regions in water stress: Texas, Colorado and California. Due to their timely watershed assessment, MillerCoors partnered with the Sand County Foundation to help improve the water quality and quantity in these areas. As MillerCoors initiated partnerships with foundations and communities, they also helped improve the management of water resources in both local communities and their global supply chains. The partnerships helped their company, and improved the water management techniques across all their watersheds.
As CDP’s Gold Consultancy Partner, Silver Software Partner and Global Scoring and Sustainability BPO Partner, FirstCarbon Solutions works with companies to discuss the macroeconomic effects of water, as well as its business value. FirstCarbon Solutions explains how water stewardship helps organizations build competitive advantage and resilience by taking advantage of viable platforms to manage their water-related impacts. FirstCarbon Solutions also helps organizations understand the long-term benefits of water stewardship by assisting firms in developing solutions that support regulatory compliance efforts and promote water mitigation programs, to encourage sustainability across the entire organization.
For more information or to request a free consultation, contact FirstCarbon Solutions today.