WBCSD calls for action on safe water, sanitation, hygiene in the workplace and increased business valuation of water
Stockholm, September 4, 2013- TheWorld Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today calls for companies to commit to the WBCSD Pledge for Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the Workplace- along with launching best practice guidance for measuring the real value of water in business decision making- at World Water Week.
The WBCSD Pledgeaims to secure appropriate access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all employees in the workplace. Nestlé, Greif, Borealis, EDF, Deloitte LLP, Roche Group, Unilever and HCC are among businesses already pledging support. The WBCSD – which brings businesses together to create a sustainable future – is calling for more organizations to commit to its pledge.
Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD said: “Today, over 1.8 billion people are still without access to safe drinking water and an estimated 4.1 billionlack access to adequate sanitation.This is incompatible not only with WBCSD’s Vision 2050, where 9 billion people are able to live well within the limits of the planet, but also with the United Nations’ human right to water and sanitation. There is a compelling and clear economic case for businesses to demonstrate leadership in addressing this social imperative and one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges of our times.”
In recognition of the difficulty businesses face in accurately measuring the importance of water given the complex economic, social and environmental factors, the WBSCD has also launched a ‘Business guide to water valuation’. This new publication aims to provide business guidance on how to assess the value of water to their operations but also to society as a whole. Better valuing water can in fact help companies better manage water, thus reduce water stress and ensure the sustainability of their future operations. The guide shares best practices concepts and techniques to help managers commission, manage and review water valuation studies, and make the best use of the findings.
It draws upon 25 business-related valuation cases that demonstrate how water valuation can be used to reach different goals, and that illustrate the valuation concepts and techniques.
Bakker added: “There is a global recognition that water is rarely valued appropriately and as water demand continues to stretch and stress our water supply, businesses will increasingly need to account for the real value of water they are using in order to inform decision-making. And more broadly, greater practical collaboration and local participation is needed in the collective management of water to ensure long-term access to the resource in the context of competing demands. This collaboration is a key part of the Council’s Action 2020framework to achieve core societal and planetary goals through business solutions by 2020.”
WBCSD has a strong presence at World Water Week, as a member of the Week’s Scientific Program Committee, and a collaborating partner alongside the WWF and the Global Water Partnership.