This side event will feature a high-level panel discussion exploring the business “value” in acting to better manage water resources. Building on the notion of water risk, the session will explore how the private sector can integrate the costs of water-related externalities as well as the business and societal benefits of acting on water into business strategy and planning decisions. The panelists will share findings of forthcoming research supporting the integration of these costs and benefits into decision-making in order to more comprehensively demonstrate the business value of water stewardship. Critically, the event will bring in leading voices from the investment, corporate, nonprofit, and scientific communities to describe how the private sector is currently valuing water and how new tools and methodologies can support the business case for water management interventions.
The panelists will also discuss the work of the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, a global investor-led effort launched in August 2022 in partnership with the Government of the Netherlands to engage companies with a high water footprint to value and act on water as a financial risk and drive the necessary large-scale change to better protect water systems. The Valuing Water Finance Initiative is guided by the Corporate Expectations for Valuing Water. This set of six, science-based, actionable steps provide investors with a framework to help move companies to strategically address water risk, aligning with the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for Water (SDG6). Broadly, investors will engage companies on: Actions companies take to ensure current practices don’t impact water quality and water availability; how companies integrate water management into their business processes, including board oversight and policy engagement; companies’ efforts to ensure access to the essentials—water and sanitation—across their value chains; and companies’ efforts to protect ecosystems critical to freshwater supplies their businesses depend on.
- Antony Currie, moderator, Reuters Breakingviews
- Kirsten James, Senior Program Director, Water, Ceres
- Bea Perez, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications, Sustainability & Strategic Partnerships Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
- Paul Reig, Founder, Bluerisk
- Anne Simpson, Global Head of Sustainability, Franklin Templeton