The business community depends on water as does everyone on the planet. Competition for increasingly scarce water resources will pit business interests against societal interests. It is becoming increasingly evident that the business community cannot continue to use water without acknowledging its real value. This is particularly true as we anticipate increasing global demand.
According to some estimates between 2000 and 2050 we can expect a 55 percent increase in worldwide demand. There are some industries that will more than triple their water consumption. For example, the manufacturing sector is increasing their water usage by 400 percent.
This trend of increasing water consumption is simply not sustainable. It is imperative that the business community stop wasting and mismanaging water. One of the best ways to get industry to use water more responsibly is to have them pay the full cost of using it.
This is the point made in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) publication, Water Valuation: Building the Business Case. They make their point with the help of 21 case studies that illustrate why and how different companies have carried out water valuation.
This publication is a response to Vision 2050, a WBCSD report that lays out a pathway leading to dealing with a world that has 9 billion inhabitants. Businesses need to look at their externalities so as to understand and manage their impacts and dependencies on natural resources, and the way these interact with societies and economies.
To move forward in a sustainable way water stewardship must be incorporated into business strategies. This involves the integration of true water values and true water costs into decision-making.
Click here to download the full report.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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