SDG target 6.3 aims to improve ambient water quality, eliminate dumping and minimize the release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe reuse globally. Industry has a critical role to play in supporting the attainment of SDG 6.3. The Wastewater Zero initiative aims to mobilize business to reduce the impact of wastewater pollution and drive performance improvements for wastewater management that benefit climate, biodiversity and water security.
Approximately 80% of wastewater globally is discharged directly into freshwater and oceans, contributing to ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. A large proportion of this untreated or partially treated wastewater is used for irrigation, leading to environmental and human health issues. Untreated wastewater is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions and significantly impacts biodiversity loss.
Globally, water scarcity and climate-related pressures and variabilities impose significant stress on businesses, often by disrupting operations, increasing costs or imposing strict action due to stringent regulations. Recycling and reusing wastewater provides a reliable water supply for industries while relieving pressure on freshwater systems. There is clear evidence that the economic impact of industrial wastewater pollution far outweighs the cost of fixing it.
We bring companies together to raise industry ambitions for SDG 6.3 and to create a practical, monitoring-based mechanism to measure progress and report on SDG 6.3. Our aim is to support more companies in their commitment to meeting SDG 6.3 and to raise industry standards for wastewater recycling and reuse.