Water issues beginning to 'permeate the mainstream'

Water preservation and scarcity is "on the cusp" of being the next big sustainability issue, says Bloomberg's head of sustainability Lee Ballin.

Speaking exclusively to edie, Ballin says businesses and Government's are becoming more aware of issues around the efficiency, security, preservation and scarcity of water due to the growing impact on their operations.

"I think water is on the cusp of being the next big topic, and not just for areas of the world where it's expensive or scarce. It's going to start permeating the mainstream," says Ballin.

With sustainability standards set to encompass sustainability as a whole, businesses will be able to tackle the issues that come with climate change, such as extreme weather events and water scarcity, rather than just meet personal targets.

"I also see standards evolving, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), to help guide companies in identifying the material sustainability issues within their industry and integrating that materiality into their financial reporting processes," says Ballin.

During World Water Week, which ran between 1-6 September, the water community called for the United Nations to put special emphasis on water when it considers the post-2015 global development agenda.

In a statement generated from an open and inclusive consultation process before and during World Water Week, respondents agreed that the UN agenda must include a dedicated goal on water.

With progress on environmental issues being delayed by many of the world's governments, Ballin said companies are stepping up and filling the void left by policy and government.

For more on Bloomberg's sustainability strategy read 'In conversation with Bloomberg's Lee Ballin' here

Leigh Stringer


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