What Is Water Stewardship For Businesses?
The global water crisis is accelerating, being driven by climate change, population growth, poor water management, extreme weather events and increased urbanisation – but there is a lot that businesses can do to reduce pressure on freshwater resources and becoming a water steward is an excellent step to take if you are concerned about the situation.
Internal water management is one thing but, as the WWF explains, this isn’t enough on its own to mitigate water risks.
Instead, it will become increasingly necessary to commit to sustainable management of shared water resources, working alongside other businesses, governments, communities and non-government organisations – and this is what lies at the heart of water stewardship.
All business operations depend on water and it’s essential that we no longer take this finite resource for granted. The way that water is currently managed isn’t sustainable and water users often find themselves competing for the same resources, without talking to one another or considering how usage impacts the water basin and catchments as a whole.
The WWF has come up with a framework identifying the steps that companies can take to become better water stewards and manage freshwater resources more effectively – water awareness, knowledge of impact, internal supply chain and action, collective action and influencing governance.
How businesses tackle the issue of water will affect their long-term survival and growth, and there are all sorts of benefits associated with becoming a good water steward, ranging from reducing the risk of operations being affected by limited availability of water to improving stakeholder relationships, cost savings and a boost to their reputation.
Diageo is one brand making serious inroads to help protect water resources, with Kate Gibson, global director of society with the company, explaining in an article for Brink News that it has been working for almost 20 years to embed water stewardship across its business and supply chain, as well as advocating for others to do the same.
She went on to note that promoting good stewardship isn’t just philanthropic and good for the planet, but also that there is “a compelling business case for investment”.
“There are a lot of ways that businesses can help to reduce water stress. Diageo’s focus on water stewardship over the past decade has enabled the company to achieve a 46 per cent improvement in water efficiency globally, reducing our costs, mitigating risk and building resilience in our operations,” Ms Gibson went on to say.
It’s predicted that half of the world’s population could be living with water stress by the year 2050, with unsustainable use of resources, pollution and population growth making the situation worse.
If you’d like to find out how you can help safeguard this precious resource for future generations, get in touch with the SwitchWaterSupplier.com team today to find out about the benefits of having a water audit survey carried out.