With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.
Tuesday, March 22, marked the 24th annual World Water Day. Governments and companies took the opportunity to unveil their latest plans to tackle water quality and scarcity. The U.S. government held a Water Summit at the White House, the U.N. gathered a panel of youth to discuss water and climate issues, and hundreds of government, community and corporate events unfolded across the globe throughout the early part of this week.
Now that the speakers have stepped down from their podiums and the press releases have all been sent out, it's time to take stock of this year's public- and private-sector commitments on water issues. Read on for the scoop on our next steps to a water-secure future.
To tackle the problem head-on, at the White House Water Summit more than 150 companies, nonprofit organizations and public agencies committed over $5 billion to improve drinking water accessibility and quality for all Americans over the next decade.
Said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council: “These unprecedented commitments are a sobering acknowledgment of how urgently our drinking water delivery systems need updating and greater protections against lead and other toxic chemicals. America’s water system was once the envy of the world, but it has fallen into alarming disrepair. Now is the time to fix our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure, which threatens not just water from the taps in every American home and school, but public health overall."
CTO-H2O is focused on assisting water-tech entrepreneurs to get their game-changing ideas to market. The six-month accelerator program that supports water-technology startups was recognized by the White House for its innovation in bringing water-efficiency technologies to the international stage.
On Tuesday, in partnership with Ceres, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, CDP and the World Resources Institute, the initiative launched a new Water Climate Bonds Standard with a focus on "vulnerability assessment and climate mitigation and adaptation planning to the fixed income space." The effort was recognized by the White House at this week's Water Summit.
“We are committed to expanding our stewardship with our global suppliers to help minimize our environmental impact more broadly,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group vice president for global purchasing. “By sharing our practices and our processes at the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency workshop, we hope to foster innovation and collaboration to address sustainability-related issues and advance environmental responsibility.”
Ford began testing PACE in 2014, and has expanded the program to include a total of 25 strategic suppliers representing 800 manufacturing sites in 41 countries. The announcement comes on the heels of two big moves from Ford to start off 2016: At the start of this month, the automaker joined forces with the electronics industry to improve supply chain sustainability, and two weeks later it launched a mobility subsidiary to invest in cutting-edge solutions for automobiles and smart-city technologies.
The techniques were introduced by the company’s designers in 2011 and reduce the water used in garment finishing by up to 96 percent. Since implementation, the technology has helped Levi's save more than one billion gallons of water.
Research released by Greenpeace on World Water Day found that 44 percent of current plants, and 45 percent of planned coal power plants, were in areas of water stress. Click here to learn more.
It aims to improve water stewardship by "identifying key environmental risks that need to be addressed in order to safely manage produced water in ways other than deep well injection," the organization said.
The new members pledged to cut water use in their supply chains and "engage with policymakers, employees, customers and peers" to advance water stewardship.
Saw a commitment we missed? Leave a note in the comments!
Image credit: Pixabay
Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious Company, AlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia.