Taking the opportunity in view of the water awareness raised by the 8th World Water Forum, 18 large Brazilian companies – or with operations in Brazil – signed a commitment to water safety in Brasília, in an action led by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS, in Portuguese).
Just as civil society and the government, corporations also suffer the effects resulting from water crises; and with this commitment, they want to make it clear they understand that their participation is vital for national water safety. In addition to that, corporations want to take part in reaching the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 6, which deals with “Water and Sanitation for All”.
In the document, the companies state: “In light of the current reality of water scarcity, we are already developing several shared solutions to face the crisis and reduce the consumption of drinking water. By using techniques such as reclaiming water, loss management, sustainable treatments for the reclaim of industrial and domestic effluents, storage reservoirs, desalination solutions, use of renewable energy sources, recovery and preservation of springs and watersheds, we aim at increasing natural infrastructure, reforestation actions, among others. These are all in response to the impacts that this crisis brings to companies, to biodiversity, to the economy and, especially, to society.”
The Brazilian Business Commitment for Water Security sets six targets under the pillars of water “Availability”, “Use” and “Destination” by 2025.
The six targets of the business commitment for water safety
1. Expand the water awareness into business strategy
Identify opportunities related to water management in business (consumption reduction, reclaim water, renewable energy sources and efficiency), and set strategies for conducting them in direct operations and in the value chain, in order to reduce resource dependency and/or increase use efficiency.
Annual identification of opportunities, setting goals and action plans to address them.
2. Mitigate water risks for the business
Include, in the company’s risk assessment procedures, an analysis of the business social, environmental and financial risks, directly or indirectly related to water.
Annually map the business and value chain risks, directly or indirectly related to water, and create an action plan addressing each of them through mitigation actions as well as adaptation to climate change.
3. Measure and publicly report the company’s water management
Measure and disclose water management data through CDP’s water questionnaire, annual sustainability reports, publicize participation in national and global water initiatives on websites or other public mass media.
Measure and publicly communicate the water related actions in the company through official and recognized communication instruments.
4. Encourage projects shared for water protection
Present a new or continuous project and/or action per year, individually or collectively, preferably a project related to springs and watersheds protection. The presented project and/or action should be active, with reports, follow-ups and results indicating the impact caused in water safety. Results of goals will not be required for the companies developing the projects in the 1st year, but the creation and presentation of the action plan to reach such goals will be required.
Promote programs of approximation and partnerships with universities, NGOs, the public sector, local communities and civil society in projects related to conservation, protection, consumption reduction, water access and availability, environmental services and reforestation, involving the largest number of actors as possible in a large network for effective water awareness, promoting nature-based solutions as effective solutions applied to business.
5. Promote engagement of the value chain
Positively influence the operations of the company’s value chain and its impacts on processes directly and indirectly related to water, including awareness actions, engagement in water projects and experience exchange on good practices in the chain.
Present, each year, criteria and indicators for monitoring the operations of the value chain, including water consumption per production unit.
6. Contribute with technologies, knowledge, processes and human, physical and material resources in supporting large, medium and small Brazilian companies, in building and developing a better water management in their productive processes, value chain and to the environment.
Participate, annually, in at least one collaborative initiative, action or project, which promotes the exchange of technologies, knowledge, experiences and good practices among signatory companies.
In addition to these goals, CEBDS and the signatory companies will elect bi-annual theme-based campaigns for collaborative projects to stimulate joint engagement with government, the tertiary sector, civil society, companies and other sectors.
By means of a campaign and in an effort to implementing agreements, projects and approaches, companies wish to work on issues that strengthen a national water safety agenda such as watershed management, reclaiming water, agriculture, access to drinking water and sanitation.
Content published in March 21, 2018