Led by Val Fishman, VP of Corporate Partnerships for the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), this panel congregated some of the most influential organizations that are driving change and collaboration within water stewardship. It also congregated a full room, which is not surprising considering that water scarcity has been pushed under the spotlight, having been named this year's top global risk by the World Economic Forum.
“Water stewardship does not occupy a very high place on the corporate agenda, “ said Lindsey Bass, WWF’s Manager for Corporate Water Stewardship, “but thanks to groundbreaking legislation, it is rocketing up the priority list as it now being recognized as a material risk.”
Panelists discussed existing reporting platforms and tools that are catalyzing water stewardship through transparency and creating awareness of where the risks are located as well as the scale of these risks. Examples include the CEO Water-Mandate, was which was launched by the UN Global Compact in 2007, as well as CDP’s Water assessment.
Introduced by Tenuta, the Water Risk Monetizer, which is available to the public at no cost, was one of the primary tools discussed. Launched last November, the Water Risk Monetizer quantifies and monetizes water risk, as well as integrates a number of existing public databases, such as the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct, which measures and maps water risk.
This tool was realized through a collaboration between Ecolab and Trucost, which was a common theme throughout this session — the need for collaboration, particularly private-public partnerships.
“One of the biggest drivers of water stewardship is private sector investment,” said Fishman, who emphasized the need for nonprofits to deliberately pair with corporations with the goal of catalyzing innovation.
Maxfield Weiss, the CDP’s VP of Insight, along with WWF’s Bass, also emphasized the need for corporations to pose tough questions to themselves. For example, how does water flow through your business? How does it impact your business? What are your top priorities and what are your strategic actions to reduce risk?
Overall, purposeful goal-setting, carefully choosing practical water risk assessment tools, along with collaboration are the some of the key ingredients to the collective, strategic action needed to preserve our shared resource, water.