California’s Private Sector Leaders Convene to Launch the California Water Resilience Initiative
Sacramento, California – October 11, 2023 – Aligned with Gov. Newsom’s 2022 Water Supply Strategy, key public and private sector leaders convened today in Sacramento to launch the California Water Resilience Initiative, a private sector initiative to accelerate coordinated, collective action to achieve a water-resilient future for California, in alignment with public sector goals. Organized by the World Environment Center, CEO Water Mandate and its Water Resilience Coalition (WRC) and the Pacific Institute, with support from Ecolab, the California Water Resilience Forum brought together industry and state leaders to engage in insightful discussions, share successful case studies and explore innovative strategies to address water challenges in the state. The event ended with participants coming together to begin developing a roadmap for the private sector’s contributions to the state’s water resilience goals.
Joaquin Esquivel, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, began the day as keynote speaker. He shared his vision of more water-resilient California as the state works to adapt to a hotter, drier future and achieve the goals outlined in the governor’s water supply strategy.
“Our state faces complex water challenges that urgently require innovative solutions and collective action. Private sector leaders like those who have come together today to learn, unite, share insights, and contribute to common actions toward our collective water future are critical. These spaces are important, because water management decisions at the public, private, academic, non-profit, community and individual levels must come to a common table and consensus if we’re to be successful in the face our challenges.”
As climate change accelerates and its impact on our water supply becomes increasingly evident, it is crucial for communities and businesses worldwide to unite in safeguarding this precious resource. Participants are meeting this challenge head-on in partnership with multiple internationally known non-profit organizations. Additional companies in attendance included Starbucks, General Mills, Marriott and Walmart, among others.
“At the World Environment Center, we recognize the critical role that businesses and organizations play in addressing environmental challenges,” said Neil Hawkins, President of the World Environment Center. “This event exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable practices. Together, we can find innovative ways to conserve water, protect ecosystems, and promote responsible growth.”
Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and Head of the CEO Water Mandate, thanked California’s leaders for coming together around the issue of water scarcity, an issue that acutely affects the Golden State.
“Water scarcity is a global challenge, and California, as a bellwether state, plays a vital role in addressing it. We applaud those companies in attendance for their commitment to building water resilience through action and partnership. This event catalyzes innovation and collaboration, essential in our journey to safeguard our water resources. We look forward to robust discussions that will inform and inspire action.”
“The private sector has a responsibility to help address the global water crisis and is well positioned to do so. California is renowned for its technology, innovation and talent, so has all the necessary elements to tackle this challenge and serve as a model for others.” said Christophe Beck, Chairman & CEO of Ecolab. “Ecolab is committed to advancing water resilience in California and around the world, and we are proud to partner with leading NGOs to host this event. By bringing together leaders from multiple industries and sectors, we are helping companies deliver on their business and sustainability responsibilities, while fostering the collection action needed to conserve and replenish this vital resource.”
Ecolab’s recent Watermark™ Study 2023, a global consumer research study that examines the state of water stewardship through water’s importance, usage, connection to climate and responsibility among key consumer populations around the world, found that consumers hold governments and businesses most responsible for water conservation, but they do not believe that these leaders care enough about their impact on water or climate change. Other key findings of the study include:
- Consumers are more likely to trust businesses that are transparent about their water usage and have clear sustainability goals.
- Consumers are willing to pay a premium for products and services from businesses that are committed to water stewardship.
- Consumers are more likely to support businesses that are working to reduce their water footprint and help their customers do the same.
Overall, the Watermark™ Study 2023 shows that consumers are increasingly concerned about water stewardship and are looking to businesses to take a lead role in addressing the water crisis. Today’s event activates this call and promises more action from major private sector companies. The California Water Resilience Initiative coalition will reconvene in November to begin developing a roadmap towards greater water resilience.
Photos from today’s event can be accessed here.
A 501(c)3 organization, the World Environment Center is an independent, global, non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices of member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through the annual awarding of its Gold Medal Award.
Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. From working with Fortune 500 companies to frontline communities, our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Since 2009, the Pacific Institute has also acted as co-secretariat for the CEO Water Mandate, a global commitment platform that mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. For more information, visit pacinst.org.
The Water Resilience Coalition is an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative that aims to elevate the long-term mounting crisis of global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and to preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments. The Water Resilience Coalition is an initiative of the CEO Water Mandate, a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute that mobilizes business leaders on corporate water stewardship. For more information, visit https://ceowatermandate.org/resilience/.
A trusted partner for millions of customers, Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) is a global sustainability leader offering water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services that protect people and the resources vital to life. Building on a century of innovation, Ecolab has annual sales of $14 billion, employs more than 47,000 associates and operates in more than 170 countries around the world. The company delivers comprehensive science-based solutions, data-driven insights and world-class service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, and optimize water and energy use. Ecolab’s innovative solutions improve operational efficiencies and sustainability for customers in the food, healthcare, life sciences, hospitality and industrial markets.