Rio de Janeiro, 27 November 2018: As in many countries, urgent action is required to address water challenges in Brazil and meet the nutrition and health needs of a growing population within planetary boundaries. While a wide array of stakeholders are required to put in place mechanisms to encourage solutions to water challenges, business participation and engagement is essential to delivering impactful solutions.
In this context, BCSD Brazil (CEBDS) has launched Aquasfera, a digital water hub set up to track the commitments laid down earlier this year by the Brazilian Business Commitment to Water Security with the aim of changing the relationship between business and water in the country and leave a legacy of responsible water management for future generations. Among the more than 20 signatories of the commitment are WBCSD members CPFL Energia, Natura, Heineken and Unilever.
Aquasfera will also share best practices on water and sanitation-related projects and innovations, offer an interactive platform for signatories to the abovementioned commitment, and lay out key events and highlights for those keen in advancing the water security agenda in Brazil.
"The goal is not only to present to society what companies have been doing to reduce waste, to properly allocate liquid waste and to promote better use of water in their manufacturing processes. Aquasfera also intends to focus these experiences of companies so that they can directly influence the industrial management of others", said the Director of Institutional Development of CEBDS, Ana Carolina Avzaradel Szklo.
Signatories of the Brazilian Business Commitment have undertaken to encourage best practice in Brazil through initiatives such as integrating water into their business strategy, mitigating water risk by reducing consumption, treating and reusing the water they use, contributing to the conservation of water basins and increasing irrigation efficiency, among other activities. They also recognize the need to measure and communicate water management, while developing watershed and supply-chain wide solutions.
The hub was launched in Rio de Janeiro during the Water and Business event, held on the sidelines of Rio Water Week and organized by CEBDS alongside the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) and the Brazilian chapter of the UN Global Compact.
The event brought together representatives of Ambev, Coca-Cola, Braskem, Nestlé, Philip Morris, Ecolab, BRK Ambiental and several other companies alongside institutions in view of discussing water efficiency.
Tom Williams, Director of the Water at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and a panelist at the launch event in Rio, welcomed the Aquasfera platform. He underlined that "while there are a number of isolated initiatives by companies around the world that aim to promote water efficiency solutions, it is increasingly important to have a space that aggregate them. This can also help carry the business voice on companies’ role and opportunity in contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 6 of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”