WWF Prioritising Water Stewardship To Reduce Environmental Impact
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is encouraging businesses to become better stewards of global supplies of freshwater, which they rely upon to manufacture and produce food, clothes and lots of other items we use on a daily basis.
By prioritising water stewardship, businesses can reduce the impact they have on the environment and also reduce the risks that poor water management can represent for companies. The WWF has put together a PDF showing some of the increasing risks that brands which do rely on freshwater for success now face.
For example, back in 2014 almost 50 countries experienced water stress or scarcity, with one in three freshwater species now considered to be at risk of extinction. The agriculture industry uses 70 per cent of our global freshwater resources and globally, 30 per cent of land is now degrading – costing the world $300 billion each year.
Unfortunately, demand for water has been predicted to increase by over 55 per cent come the year 2050 and by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living somewhere where water is scarce, inaccessible or of poor quality.
And it’s not just water scarcity that companies should be worried about – poor water quality is also considered to be a huge risk as well. WWF facts show that 80 per cent of global wastewater is released back into nature untreated. Nitrate is also the most common chemical contaminant found in groundwater aquifers around the world, with levels rising 36 per cent in global waterways from 1990.
The WWF advises companies to consider taking collective action in order to manage water risks, involving stepping outside their own operations and those of their suppliers so as to engage with other stakeholders to support water management more widely.
Mitigating the risks means working alongside government, non-government organisations, businesses and local communities to ensure that shared freshwater resources are managed in a sustainable way.
It’s also important that internal action is taken and companies, their customers and their suppliers should have an understanding of global water challenges and their reliance upon this precious resource. Companies should also ensure they have a detailed understanding of what impact they and their suppliers do have on freshwater supplies so that they can take action to improve water efficiency, reduce pollution and optimise internal water governance.
The best starting point for companies is to understand water scarcity and quality challenges, and how these might affect they way they do business. It’s vital that you raise awareness with relevant staff members across your organisation, including the CEO, senior management and the supply chain.
Once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of this, you can then get to grips with where your water comes from and where your waste water goes in your operations and the overall supply chain, as well as the impact this has on the environment.
If you need the help of water conservation consultants, get in touch with us today.