World Water Week in Stockholm

Corporate Water Stewardship in Support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Steven Depolo

This year’s World Water Week conference from August 28 to September 2 in Stockholm, Sweden brought together experts, practitioners, decision-makers, professionals, and business people from around the globe to exchange ideas and spark innovation around important water issues.

On August 28 and 30, Pacific Institute staff, as Co-Secretariat of the CEO Water Mandate, held meetings on the topic “Corporate Water Stewardship in Support of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.” On September 1, the CEO Water Mandate co-hosted an event with WaterAid and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on “Scaling-Up WASH Action in Companies’ Supply Chains: Promoting Sustainable Growth.”

Corporate Sustainability Program Director and Head of the CEO Water Mandate Jason Morrison, Senior Research Associate Heather Rippman, and Senior Research Associate Mai-Lan Ha gave presentations on topics including corporate water stewardship and the SDGs, Advancing Corporate Water Stewardship in California, the Water Action Hub, and current challenges and approaches to WASH in supply chains.

The Pacific Institute team discussed how businesses can make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development around the world. Topics covered included: how businesses can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development via innovative multi-stakeholder collaborations including the Business Alliance for Water and Climate (BAFWAC) and WASH4Work; the ways in which water stewardship collective action and policy engagement are leading to real changes on the ground; how to measure the impacts of businesses’ contribution to the new sustainable development goals; and how to take further action to improve water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in supply chains.

During the Mandate’s meetings, two exciting projects were launched: the new Hotel Water Management Initiative and the RELX Environment Challenge Prize for Water and Sanitation.

The meetings attracted over 200 representatives from UN agencies, governments, the business sector, and civil society who came together to share experiences, learn from one another, and contribute to the debates. At the end of the meetings, participants came away with key insights around the importance of context-based target setting, the need for continued collaboration and partnership between companies, and the need to work with governments to ensure alignment between business action and public policy priorities.

The CEO Water Mandate is a partnership between the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact.