Wastewater Zero: A call to action for business to raise ambition for SDG 6.3


22 September, 2020



Water-related risks, while local in nature, can disrupt business operations globally, have material cost implications and damage reputations. Addressing water-related risks is fundamental to business sustainability and its license to operate. Industrial wastewater pollution is a key water risk for businesses and its operations. The cost of ‘business as usual’ far outweighs the cost of action to fix the problems linked to industrial wastewater pollution and misses opportunities for business to make progress on biodiversity, climate change and water security to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

This report provides a six-point action framework for businesses to address the problem of industrial wastewater pollution:

  1. Circularity: Incorporate principles of circularity throughout the organization.
  2. Targets and metrics: Establish targets and metrics based on science and context.
  3. Valuing water: Value water to minimize negative externalities and incentivize reuse.
  4. Disclosure: Improve disclosure beyond compliance.
  5. Partnerships: Invest in public-private partnerships.
  6. Value chain: Incentivize and support value chain partners.

This report, the action framework it articulates and the commitment towards “Wastewater Zero” it compels business to make can help businesses join us in raising the ambition for SDG 6.3 – which calls for halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse.