How companies can contribute to the responsible management of water? Six main points were raised and a commitment was made by  Brazilian companies for water security, released on Monday, the 19th, by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS), during the panel of high level leadership, at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia. At least 18 companies have already signed the document and committed themselves to the responsible management of water, with the promotion of water efficiency in the industries and with  fighting waste.

The president of CEBDS, Marina Grossi, highlighted the importance of the commitment of companies in relation to water, signed by CEOs of major companies in operation in the country.

"In the face of the reality of scarcity that we are seeing, it is necessary that not only the industries to do their part, but also the government, promoting sanitation, and citizens themselves, who should be made aware of the importance to use rationally this resource," said Marina.

“The commitment is the first step to the creation of a platform, in which companies will share their best practices and provide society with transparency about the use of water in their activities,” he explained, adding that the platform will remain as a legacy of the World Water Forum and will provide the basis for influencing other companies to also adopt measures based on the experiences reported.

The six commitments, based on the pillars of availability, use, and disposal of water, include the promotion of the engagement of the supply chain; the contribution of technologies, knowledge, processes and human resources; encouragement of the shared projects on behalf of the water; the measurement and communication to the public of water management in company; to increase the insertion of the water theme in the business strategy; and to mitigate the water risks for the business.

Among the signatories of the letter of commitment, AEGEA, Ambev, Anglo American, Braskem, BRK, Environmental, Coca-Cola Brasil, CPFL Energia, CPFL Renewable, Ecolab, Eletrobras, Grupo Boticário, Grupo Lorentzen, Heineken, Natura, New Steel, Unilever, Vedacit and Vestas.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Peter White, who's participating in the Forum, reinforced the importance of the subject of water being introduced in the decision making of the companies. “No water, no life. No water, no business”, he summed up, inviting other companies to join the commitment.

The role of the consumer was one of the topics discussed during the senior leaders' panel, by the head of sustainability at ab inbev, Tony Milikin.

“The subject of water is at the top of the list. We are talking about consumption and it's the consumers who will make it happen by choosing sustainable products,” said Milikin.
The role of companies in water security was handled by Henry Braun, CEO of Coca-Cola in Brazil, and by Orson Ledezma, CEO of Ecolab.

“Water is the topic that concerns all of us, as companies, leaders, and citizens. As leaders, we are always thinking of what steps to take and how to do it. At Coca-Cola we combine efficiency, availability and access,” explained Braun.

“Industries have to identify in their operations what are the risks associated with the use of water. The technology is there to both identify the risks and develop solutions,” said Ledezma.
The need for the adoption of measures in the long term was the observation made by the director global of vinyls at Braskem, Ana Carolina Viana.

“Commitment to water is not something sudden. It has to be a long-term priority. Good management can be an opportunity for many companies in the long term,” says Ana Carolina Viana.

The concern with basic sanitation, combined with the issue of water, was approached by the CEO of BRK Ambiental, Teresa Vernaglia.

“One in every two brazilians do not have access to basic sanitation. There's no point in talking of water without addressing sanitation. We live in the 21st century, with problems from the 19th century”, completed.

*Source: CEBDS