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World Water Week showcases examples of Water Stewardship Initiatives

Sep 15th, 2014 |

Over 3,000 politicians, business leaders, innovators, thought leaders and practitioners gathered in Stockholm last week for the 24th annual World Water Week. While this year’s focus was on the links between energy and water, water stewardship was a central them at several of the week’s sessions and side events.

The annual multi-stakeholder event from the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate used the release of a new study on the role of business in the global sanitation challenge to discuss with participants on business respect for the human right to water and sanitation. In addition, CEO Water Mandate introduced the 2014 version of its Corporate Water Disclosure Guideline, which is also available as a web-based version here.

Another session was dedicated to Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Water Stewardship Initiatives,  highlighting emerging frameworks and tools which can help ensure their integrity. Brigitte Dittrich-Kraemer from BASF shared lessons learned from implementing the EWS standard. A session on Collective Action in the Agricultural Supply Chain, with examples from EWS partners such as Coca-Cola, presented a convincing case for how corporate water stewardship can promote best water management practices. Synergies between water users was further discussed at the Water Footprint Assessment session on enhancing integrated river basin management. A seminar recording of the seminar can be viewed here.

The concept of circular economy was another topic at this year’s World Water Week. Circular economy strives for zero waste, emphasizing the continuous reuse and recycling of raw materials to achieve a “closed loop”. Like water stewardship, circular economy requires businesses to look in detail throughout their supply chain to understand the opportunities for system-wide solutions. Want to learn more? Watch this video of the session on water in circular economy or read this article from The Guardian?

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