The CEO Water Mandate: A Call to Action and Strategic Framework

The CEO Water Mandate
A Call to Action and Strategic Framework

An initiative by business leaders in partnership with the international community


As leaders of business organizations we recognize that the private sector has an important stake in helping to address the water challenge faced by the world today. It is increasingly clear that lack of access to clean water and sanitation in many parts of the world causes great suffering in humanitarian, social, environmental and economic terms, and seriously undermines development goals.

We also recognize the following:
– Water stress is expected to worsen in many parts of the world as a result of factors including urbanization and population growth, increasing food production, changing consumption patterns, industrialization, water pollution, and climate change.

– The main user of fresh water is agriculture. Though much less is used in manufacturing and services, these sectors can still contribute positively.

– Scarcity and related problems pose material risks but can also, when well managed, create opportunities for improvement and innovation.

– Unsafe drinking water and lack of appropriate sanitation profoundly affect the health and well-being of billions of people, including those who are our customers and employees.

– Companies can have a direct impact on water management in their own business, as well as an indirect impact by encouraging and facilitating actions by those in their supply chains to improve water management.

– In order to operate in a sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, companies have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority.

– Individual and collective efforts – involving partnership with the public sector and civil society and through the supply chain – will be required to adequately address this crisis.

Recognizing these facts, and the positive role that the international business community can play, we hereby present this “CEO Water Mandate” and invite other business leaders to endorse its vision

and objectives, and to adopt its strategic framework. The CEO Water Mandate is voluntary and aspirational. Nonetheless it represents a commitment to action. Its structure covers six key areas and is designed to assist companies in developing a comprehensive approach to water management. The six areas are: Direct Operations; Supply Chain and Watershed Management; Collective Action; Public Policy; Community Engagement; and Transparency.

Water and sanitation management are vital in both developing and developed economies. Certain areas of the world are experiencing, or are expected to experience, acute water stress. These areas are identified and discussed in the Global Environment Outlook Report and Global International Waters Assessment, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Human Development Report 2006, published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). […]

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