January 3, 2014
Certain companies, such as beermakers Anheuser-Busch InBevand MillerCoors, have invested in serious conservation measures for years. Yet periods of drought and concerns over the energy-food-water nexus have made water a far greater topic of concern in board rooms and city halls.
Ideas for improving access are at the center of some notable corporate social responsibility initiatives. In October, for example, a coalition of companies led by Coca-Cola pledged to deliver up to 2,000 off-grid water purification systems to developing regions.
Like energy, water is a universal issue: every facility, product, community and person is touched by it somehow. As the United Nations notes: “Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for 7 billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.”
Reversing that trend will take a serious annual investment: almost $840 billion, or $1.8 trillion over the next 20 years, estimates the U.N. University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-UIWEH). The good news is that this could deliver almost $3 trillion in economic, environmental and social benefits.
“As we approach some planetary tipping points, and resulting irreversible changes, innovative perspectives and paradigm shifts are necessary,” said Nikhil Seth, director of the division of sustainable development at the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Which tipping points will matter most to your business? Here are five factors driving the urgent need for better global water efficiency.
Read the full article at GreenBiz.com
Author: Heather Clancy