Research & Reports

Companies in transition to water-secure world

Stockholm (NordSIP) – There has been a 193% increase in “businesses leading the way on water stewardship,” according to a new report from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Porject). The London-based NGO, which works with shareholders and corporations to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts of major corporations, suggests that companies are increasingly becoming attuned to the importance of water security, with what it calls a transition to a water-secure world underway. The report, entitled A Turning Tide: Tracking corporate action on water security, emphasises, however, that companies and cities across the world still must recognize water as a fundamental asset.

CDP now holds the world’s largest corporate water dataset, with 2,025 companies worth approximately USD20trn in market capitalization reporting. 74 companies, including Burberry, Ford Motors, Mitsubishi Electric, Kellogg’s and Woolworths, received an A grade from CDP, up from 25 in 2016.

The CDP report finds that 70% of the 2,025 companies reporting in 2017 have board-level oversight of water issues, with a number of evident rewards including market differentiation, shareholder confidence and business resilience. A small minority of companies (7%), including Diageo, Colgate, Palmolive and Nestle, are moving ahead of the pack to undertake the process of establishing internal values on water to account for social and environmental costs and benefits. Companies committed USD23.4bn across over a thousand projects to tackle water risks in 91 countries, including desalination, reclaiming waste-water and improving irrigation to avoid drought.

Among the varying initiatives and investments: the Kimberly-Clark Corporation is investing USD9mn in a new wastewater treatment system at a Peru facility, Alcoa invested USD115mn in an Australian filtration system reducing freshwater use by 317 million gallons annually, and Danone is spending USD59mn on projects to secure sustainable access to raw materials in Sub-Saharan Africa. Taiwan’s AU Optronics has invested USD1.5bn in improving its water use efficiency across its sites by increasing water recycling to 90%.

Meeting the targets for water set out in the UN SDGs will require USD6.4trn by 2030 from nations, states, cities and companies, according to the G20.

Read the report here.

Image: (c) chaoss-shutterstock

Kames Capital
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