CSR and Sustainability

Water wars, fascinating article on water and the environment in the middle east

Scary read, but essential 

This article by Fred Pearce in Yale Environment 360 provides pause for thought.

Entitled “Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq, A Battle for Control of Water” it’s a helpful reminder of the power of the natural environment.

Fred’s book “When the Rivers Run Dry” from a few years ago is a frightening tour of water risk.

Nestle’s chairman, Peter Brabeck, believes water is a bigger looming crisis than climate change, given timescales.

The two are of course inter-connected. But water is definitely a shorter/medium term risk in terms of sustainability.

The Colorado river, the Mekong, the Murray, the Indus, the Yellow River, all of these, and how they are ‘managed’, have a major impact on how we live today, and will do in the future.

What can a sustainability-minded company do about this most macro of issues, this vitally important mega trend of water risk?

Footprint management and use reduction in the supply chain is of course the first step. The second?

Becoming more involved in supporting institutions that raise awareness and help lower risk.

The UN CEO water mandate is one such. There are others, depending how much your company wants to, or can, get engaged in helping tackle, of raise awareness of the challenges.

Of course, water is just one of a myriad of risk issues facing companies. Priorities are everything.

Water though, needs to be fairly high up the list for any company with a significant footprint.

UPDATE: An eagle eyed reader of the blog made this useful comment:

pertinent given the fact that Coca-Cola have just abandoned their $20m
bottling plant in India due to the uproar about
how it was treating water sources.

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