CEO Water Mandate Launches Sustainable Agriculture and Apparel Portals to Spur Collective Action on Forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals

March 23, 2015

Two new portals were launched today on the Water Action Hub – an interactive, online platform created by the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate to connect businesses with potential partners on water-related projects – to further catalyze collective action on issues specifically related to the agriculture and apparel industries.

The new Sustainable Agriculture Portal will help organizations pursue collective action with global actors and/or support on-going basin-level projects related to on-farm water efficiency practices, better effluent management measures, groundwater overdraft, and other agricultural topics. The Apparel Portal will focus on issues particularly relevant to apparel industry supply chains, such as chemicals management, access to water and sanitation for employees and communities, and industrial water use efficiency.

Already, 104 organizations have submitted 51 projects on the Portals in eight regions across the globe. Colombia, along with the Mississippi River Basin, the Guadalquivir River Basin in Spain, California’s Central Valley, and the Guanajuato Region of Mexico will be the first regions launched on the Sustainable Agriculture Portal. The Apparel Portal’s initial regions of focus will be the Chao Phraya River Basin in Thailand, the Yangtze in China, and the Ganges River in India and Bangladesh.

“Achieving the forthcoming ‘post-2015’ Sustainable Development Agenda and corollary Sustainable Development Goals will require cooperation and collaboration across multiple industry sectors, Government and civil society,” said Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact and Head of the CEO Water Mandate. “The Sustainable Agriculture and Apparel Portals of the Water Action Hub will be valuable tools for companies and others to use in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals following the post-2015 SDG design process.”

Water resource challenges represent a significant risk for companies in the food and beverage and apparel sectors, as well as other industries with agriculture-based supply chains. In recent years, companies with agricultural suppliers have faced supply and commodity price increases due to water-related challenges such as drought, groundwater overdraft, nutrient runoff, and climate change. In the apparel sector, companies also face increasing pressure to work with suppliers to reduce the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals, reduce overall water use across the value chain, and ensure water and sanitation services for workers. 

“Addressing the water-related challenges facing apparel and food and beverage companies, and their supply chain partners has been a top priority for a number of companies that have signed onto the CEO Water Mandate. The Sustainable Agriculture and Apparel Portals will facilitate the connections needed to catalyze action in priority regions and scale up existing efforts,” said Jason Morrison, Technical Director of the CEO Water Mandate and Program Director of the Pacific Institute’s Corporate Sustainability Program.

The Portals aim to address these challenges via “action areas” tailored to the specific issues facing agricultural producers and apparel manufacturers to further enable action that goes beyond a single factory into a company’s supply chain where water challenges are more pronounced. The Portals will also help organizations work with global and local stakeholders to identify and support basin-level projects and partnerships to address the unique challenges facing stakeholders and suppliers.

Launched in 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate is overseen by the UN Global Compact, and implemented in partnership with the Pacific Institute, an impartial nonprofit sustainability policy research center based in California. The Water Action Hub now has nearly 900 individual users representing almost 320 organizations and 160 projects in 35 regions globally.

  • To register for the Water Action Hub and the Sustainable Agriculture and Apparel Portals, please visit

Media Contact: Stefanie Woodward (510) 251-1600 x114



About the CEO Water Mandate

Launched in July 2007 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the CEO Water Mandate is a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. Led by the United Nations Global Compact in partnership with the Pacific Institute, the CEO Water Mandate offers a unique action platform to share best and emerging practices and to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships to address the problems of access to water and sanitation. The CEO Water Mandate has been endorsed by 120 companies from a range of industries and sectors.