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World Wildlife Fund On Balance

filtered by category: Freshwater

  • Date: 29 August 2017
  • Author: Daniella Foster, Sr. Director, Corporate Responsibility, Hilton

Just as water gives life to every person on our planet, the same is true for Hilton’s 5,000+ hotels: water is vital to their operations, supply chain, and their communities. In 2008, we started a journey to reduce water consumption in our network by 10 percent over five years. We met that goal a year early and eight years later we had almost doubled it with total reductions of 18.4 percent.

Fast forward to 2017 and we are proud to have celebrated World Water Day by announcing a new commitment to a comprehensive approach to water stewardship, covering our operations, supply chain, our communities and watersheds. This week we take another step on the journey and join other global organizations and leading water advocates at Stockholm’s World Water Week to share our lessons and progress.

To deliver on our new water commitment, we first had to create a baseline for our water stewardship efforts. In partnership with World Wildlife Fund’s Water Risk Filter, Hilton completed its first ever global water risk assessment for all of our hotels.

This assessment identified three high water risk areas in the United States, South Africa and China. Today we launch water pilot programs focused on training and empowering our Team Members on the water risks their communities are facing. Together we will work to mitigate those concerns by engaging in local programs to make a lasting difference.

Building on our strong operational management and existing water conservation efforts, our new water stewardship pilot programs will engage strategic suppliers beyond our operational boundaries. By extending our influence we can leverage our extensive partnerships and increase our ability to positively impact watersheds.

Hilton will continue to measure every drop of water consumed through our Corporate Responsibility performance measurement platform, LightStay. This enables us to collect and track water progress across all of our hotels, and allow us to refine and improve our efforts every step of the way.

Through our partnership with World Wildlife Fund, we are updating LightStay to provide hotels with information about their local risks and collect more locally-focused water data. This information will help us set contextual corporate water targets, and allow managers to make more informed water-related decisions. With better intel, we can continue to evolve and adapt our corporate approach to yield better results in our communities.

We have already made great progress in our journey, but we are just getting started. With World Water Week now in full swing, we are energized by the dialogue among our peers and partners. We hope that - before the end of the week - we will have unlocked the potential to achieve greater scale and impact in conserving and protecting the planet’s fresh water.

We believe that by helping our Team Members understand the role of water in our business and their role in its conservation, we can inspire our incredible teams on the frontlines of our hotels to be water stewardship champions, preserve our environment, and ultimately make a positive difference around the world!

 

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  • Date: 01 August 2017
  • Author: Alexis Morgan, Water Stewardship Lead & Lindsay Bass, Manager of Corporate Water Stewardship, WWF

A win for (North American) water: Nestle Waters North America received recognition last week for its dedication to water stewardship.  The company was awarded the continent’s first ever Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certificate from SCS Global Services for a work site in California. This milestone represents a commitment to collective action at the local level to protect freshwater ecosystems and ensure sufficient water for people and nature. It also sends a public call to other businesses across the state and country to follow suit.

The concept of water stewardship is one that WWF has played a formative role helping to shape. Nearly a decade ago, when this journey began, a group of NGOs came together to discuss whether it would be possible to codify what “good and responsible water stewardship” looked like and to test the idea of certifying good water stewards. In 2009, the AWS was born, and has now grown to become a global system with over 75 members and certifications on four continents – Asia, Africa, Australia and now North America.

Back in 2007, the corporate discussions around water focused primarily on ‘water management.’ Fast forward ten years, and most companies are speaking in terms of ‘water stewardship.’ This shift is a critical one: it takes companies from an ‘in the fenceline’ (management) response that is focused on minimizing impacts on others, to a ‘beyond the fenceline’ (stewardship) approach that is focused on addressing shared water challenges to reduce impacts and mitigate risks.

However, while risk awareness and terminology are critical starting points, actions speak louder than words. AWS is a standard that can guide appropriate action, and a verification system that can ensure action and measure impacts. Certification ensures contextually-appropriate actions start with a company’s own operations and stretch across their supply chains. Certification provides an important stepping stone toward WWF’s ultimate goal – basin sustainability. In this regard, WWF is pleased to see Nestle Waters North America “walk the talk” and certify its sites to the AWS Standard, putting in place a process for continued action and community engagement on important shared water issues. However, though certification is a key milestone, there is still much work to do to ensure holistic basin sustainability.

In recent years, many companies have started to push back against certification calling it ‘burdensome’ and saying that proprietary codes of conduct are the way of the future. While standard systems must always listen to corporate challenges, in our opinion, standards and certification remain critical. Standards are the thin red line upon which many sustainability claims are made and supply chains respond. Unlike company codes, ISEAL standards, such as AWS, must enforce monitoring and evaluation of impacts. Furthermore, these multi-stakeholder systems also provide a common framework for supporters to rally behind. Certification is as much a testament to transparency and collaboration as anything.

Freshwater ecosystems remain under threat around the world and the ability to restore them is beyond any one actor. Working together, through collective action, is the only pathway to ensure that nature and people can flourish side by side. Water stewardship lays the foundation for such collaboration and those who certify to the AWS standard are making a statement of intent to not only address their water risks, but to address the shared water challenges facing communities across the globe.

WWF toasts the first (of many) AWS certificate(s) in North America!

 

  • Date: 19 May 2017
  • Author: Greg Koch, Senior Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company

Water is a finite resource—Earth has a fixed amount—but it is infinitely renewable. Since all water is renewed through natural processes, it means we—people, nature, business, farmers, and governments—always have and always will share the same water.

That level of sharing, through the continuous cycle of water, is global, and probably doesn’t feel personal to anyone.  But sharing water also happens at the local level, everywhere, and this should be personal.

On June 5, we will co-host a conference, Sharing Water, with our partner World Wildlife Fund (WWF), along with the World Water Council (WWC).  The event presents an opportunity to play a role in WWC’s official, regional process for North America in preparation for 8th World Water Forum—the world’s largest meeting on water, or as some refer to it: the “Olympics of water.”  Discussions and output from the convening will be documented and provided to the organizers of the 8th Forum to help set the agenda and potentially contribute to its outcomes.

Our regional event will focus on a subset of themes for the 8th Forum, water and: development, finance, people, and ecosystems.  Most important is the over-arching theme of sharing water, which is a powerful one.

Everyone and everything requires water in a given time and place, whether it’s at home to bathe your children, outdoors for recreational fun, in hand to quench your thirst, or on a farm to grow the food you consume. How much water you use and what you do to affect its quality matters to everyone in your community sharing the same water resource.

When you think of sharing water it can become easier to understand that we all need to be a part of paying for water infrastructure (financing), helping keep it clean (people), and conserving watersheds (ecosystems).

This concept drives our water stewardship program at Coca-Cola. Our business is mainly producing beverages and selling them to adjacent communities. So while we are certainly focused on sustainable use of water in our plants, being efficient, and making sure the water we discharge is clean, we also step out of our bottling plants to work with governments, communities, civil society, and even our competitors to help protect nature and address health issues through safe water access.  We not only share the water, but also the responsibility of helping to protect and conserve it.

Our hope for the June 5 event is to build on this theme and help guide future discussions toward more collaborative solutions for water issues.  We all need water and can’t look to any one actor to solve its challenges.  Yes, it will take government, civil society, farmers, and industry, but it also takes you and me.

  • Date: 17 November 2016

During World Water Week in Stockholm on Sept. 1, 2016, WWF’s Lindsay Bass, The Coca-Cola Company’s Greg Koch and LimnoTech’s Paul Freedman took a seat to participate in a recorded SIWI Sofa session, “Balancing Act: What Now for Corporate Water Goals?”

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  • Date: 25 August 2016

WWF and The Coca-Cola Company have been working together since 2007 to help conserve the world’s freshwater resources. We’ve made great strides in 2015 to help ensure healthy, resilient freshwater basins in our focal areas of the Mesoamerican Reef catchments in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, and the Yangtze River in China.

Learn more about our progress in measurably improving environmental performance across Coca-Cola’s supply chain, integrating the value of nature into decision-making processes, and convening influential partners to solve global environmental challenges.

A Transformative Partnership to Conserve Water: Annual Report 2015

  • Date: 10 April 2015
  • Author: Karin Krchnak, WWF; Greg Koch, The Coca-Cola Company

As we gather our schedule, briefing documents and lots of business cards to head to Korea for the 7th World Water Forum, we’ve also been gathering our thoughts—on what we hope to learn, see and achieve at the event. What can we learn from other cross-sector partnerships? Will we find new partners to work with us on solutions to global water challenges? How can we positively contribute to the dialogue?

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  • Date: 24 March 2015
  • Author: Sarah Davidson and Lindsay Bass

WWF, WaterAid, and a host of companies and organizations today issued an open letter in support of the dedicated water and sanitation goal currently proposed as part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development framework. This is an issue that we, personally, and WWF as an organization care deeply about.

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  • Date: 22 March 2015
  • Author: Imakando Sinyama, WWF Zambia

WWF and Sedex released a brief for World Water Day examining corporate water risks, and of the many important take-aways, the one that sticks with me most is this: Even if a business is highly water efficient or uses a relatively small amount of water, they may still be at risk.

This is counter-intuitive in the extreme, and clearly it is a message that hasn’t sunk in with most suppliers. To help get your head around this, let’s take a look at a very specific example: the Kafue Flats.

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  • Date: 21 November 2014
  • Author: Greg Koch, Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company

Greg Koch, The Coca-Cola Company

I did the unthinkable in London on Nov. 6; I spent a sunny, blue-sky day indoors. Cloudy, rainy weather seems to follow me whenever I get the chance to visit this great city, so it was tempting to stay outdoors.

No such luck and I was glad I didn’t.

I spent the day in the revitalized London Docklands at The Economist’s World Water Summit. The day was jam packed with impressive speakers, panel discussions and networking over tea breaks. Many of the leading voices and actors in the water space were present. Governments, development organizations, academia, civil society and industry were all well-represented. Importantly, there was also a wide geographic representation with participants from every continent (OK, not Antarctica but I did meet two people who had been there!).

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  • Date: 29 July 2014
  • Author: Karin Krchnak, WWF

Today, as part of the White House’s Climate Data Initiative, the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative released the “Investor Guidance Document: Water Risks in Agricultural Supply Chains” to educate and engage potentially at-risk companies on the impacts water scarcity could have on their supply chains. With over 1260 signatories, the PRI initiative represents over $45 trillion USD in management assets, including water intensive commodities like cotton, sugar and corn.

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