New guidance published to help businesses better understand value of water

New guidance to help businesses assess the value of water to their operations, as well as to society as a whole, has been published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Recognising the complexity of accurately measuring the importance of water, particularly under current economic, social and environmental circumstances, WBCSD has published the ‘Business guide to water valuation’ in Stockholm to coincide with World Water Week.

According to the WBCSD, a stronger knowledge of how to value water can have a significant impact on how companies manage their water use, and therefore reduce water stress and ensure the sustainability of their future operations.

WBCSD president Peter Bakker added: “There is a global recognition that water is rarely valued appropriately and as water demand continues to stretch and stress our water supply, businesses will increasingly need to account for the real value of water they are using in order to inform decision-making.

“And more broadly, greater practical collaboration and local participation is needed in the collective management of water to ensure long-term access to the resource in the context of competing demands.”

The WBCSD is also calling for businesses to commit to providing employees with safe water, sanitation and hygiene at the workplace, under its Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) pledge.

Major companies Nestlé, Greif, Borealis, EDF, Deloitte LLP, Roche Group, Unilever and HCC are among those already pledging support.

Bakker, said: “There is a compelling and clear economic case for businesses to demonstrate leadership in addressing this social imperative and one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges of our times.”

Leigh Stringer

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