World Water Day: Prince Charles launches climate finance drive as businesses boost stewardship efforts
The Prince of Wales has launched a new initiative designed to scale up and fast-track finance to help alleviate water stress on World Water Day 2021.
Hosted as part of the Prince’s Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), the Resilient Water Accelerator is aiming to provide 50 million people in water-stressed regions with improved water and sanitation infrastructure and services by 2030. It will sit within the SMI’s water and climate task-force.
The Accelerator’s main NGO partner is WaterAid. Last year, research from WaterAid found that less than 1% of the international climate adaptation and mitigation funding provided globally is specifically allocated to help people access water and sanitation.
Support will also be provided by the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, Water.org and the World Resources Institute, as well as the governments of Bangladesh, Burkina-Faso, Nigeria, the Netherlands and the UK. The UK Government’s CDC Group finance institution is also supporting. From the private sector, early supporters include Arup and Deloitte.
The Accelerator will select six regions as areas of initial focus by September. Work to improve infrastructure, related systems and education will then get underway in January 2022.
“As we head into the crucial climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow later this year, this work will show that practical solutions to the water and climate crisis exist,” WaterAid’s chief executive Tim Wainwright said.
Prince Charles said, upon launching the Accelerator, that he hopes to “foster a diverse range of partners and proposals”, with more private-sector supporters to be announced in the coming months.
Separately, several major businesses have made new water-related announcements to mark World Water Day.
PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation marked the occasion by revealing that their projects have helped some 55 million people gain access to safe water since 2006. Projects include the construction of community water systems; the provision of loans to help families install taps at home; the provision of WASH education programmes and work to the support of entrepreneurs inventing and scaling up water-efficient technologies.
The company believes that, in addition to its own $53m funding, its work has catalysed $700m of additional support to date. Partner organisations include national development banks, Water.org and Safe Water Network.
Elsewhere, Kimberly-Clark launched an expanded and extended version of its web-based WATERLOUPE tool, designed to help communities across the world analyse data on local freshwater supplies and consumption trends. The tool can also forecast likely future risks and run digital tests for different mitigation strategies.
WaterLOUPE was co-developed by the corporate and Dutch research institute Deltares. It has already been deployed to several river basins co-located with Kimberly-Clark tissue mills in the US, Latin America and South Africa. It will now also be rolled out in Israel, Bahrain, India and additional Latin American locations. Kimberly Clark is striving to halve its water footprint by 2030.
Here in the UK, meanwhile, Nestle Waters has announced that its Buxton site in Derbyshire has achieved the prestigious Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (AWS) highest standard certification, Platinum.
The corporate purchased the site in 2016 and stated that, since then, work with partners including the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has helped it to reduce extraction, improve water efficiency and conserve and restore nature.
“Working to achieve this [certification] has transformed our thinking and focus on water beyond our factory site,” Nestle Waters UK’s head of sustainability Hayley Lloyd House said.
“Some of the most valuable contributions have come from discussions with our community members about the current and future shared water challenges affecting the Peak District. Developing a deeper understanding of these challenges provided new opportunities to share our knowledge and expertise to benefit the whole area now and for many years to come.
“I hope this recognition of our efforts will act as a catalyst for more local, collective action united behind a simple, common purpose: to care for water.”
Nestle is aiming to reach a net-positive impact on all watersheds in all areas of operation globally by 2025 – and to certify all Nestle Waters sites via the AWS scheme within the same timeframe.
Spotlight on Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation
edie has launched its latest SDG Spotlight report, looking at how businesses can transform to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) post-lockdown, with the latest focusing on Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation.
Featuring an exclusive industry viewpoint from the senior research director at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute's (QEERI) Water Centre, Dr Jenny Lawler, and an exclusive foreword from WaterAid's senior private sector advisor Hannah Greig, the FREE report provides a snapshot of global progress towards SDG 6 so far and best-practice advice for businesses looking to advance water stewardship across their value chains.