Deloitte announced it is providing pro bono services to help develop a public online tool that allows companies to more easily identify and collaborate with businesses, relevant governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and communities to advance sustainable water management on a location-specific basis.
Specifically, Deloitte is teaming with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the Pacific Institute and the German International Development Agency (GIZ) in developing the CEO Water Mandate (which is part of the United Nations Global Compact) Water Action Hub (the Hub).
Deloitte's contribution to IBLF, valued at up to $500,000, will allow organizations to access a publicly available online water-focused capacity building platform that can serve as a clearinghouse for emerging corporate water accounting methods, tools, and stewardship practices.
"This is a very exciting and much needed effort. Although water is a global issue, the solutions are translated to the watershed level," said Will Sarni, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, enterprise water strategy practice leader and author of the recently published "Corporate Water Strategies."
Sarni continued, "As a result, cooperation among stakeholders within a watershed is essential in building a successful water stewardship strategy. We are gratified to make this important contribution of skills and knowledge to the Hub, a key enabler for companies managing the complexities of a global water strategy and driver for real, meaningful and measurable water stewardship results."
The Hub will feature a mapping function that visually places each facility and/or organizations within watershed maps to help organizations better understand stakeholders and initiatives in their watersheds of interest. Watershed maps are designed to allow companies to build upon their use of other online analytical mapping and water risk characterization tools such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD's) Global Water Tool and the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Aqueduct project.
"We are fortunate to have a terrific set of knowledgeable, committed, passionate partners and stakeholders whose guidance, assistance and support will be invaluable in the long-term sustained success of this important initiative," added Derrick Sturisky, senior manager, governance, regulatory and risk strategies, Deloitte & Touche LLP.
"The past five years have seen significant discussion and tool development relating to the water impacts, risks, and stewardship practices of business in an increasingly water-constrained world," said Stephen Kenzie, senior programme manager, International Business Leaders Forum. "Now, companies are ever more interested in practical 'in-the-watershed' solutions to help reduce the water risks their operations and supply chains are facing. The Hub will drive larger, more effective alliances, with pooled resources, focusing efforts in shared 'hotspot' watersheds, rather than the current, more piecemeal approach to water stewardship."
"Increased pressure on water resources in many parts of the world has led to business risk," says Jason Morrison, program director at the Pacific Institute and technical director of the UN CEO Water Mandate. "Consequently, a slew of tools have emerged for business, most of which tend to focus on helping corporates identify the location and nature of their water risk. The Water Action Hub is distinct in that it will provide a highly adaptive platform that will allow companies to work with other stakeholders via on-the-ground partnerships to respond to identified risks."
"Through our experience working with companies to assess and mitigate shared water risks, we have learned a fundamental lesson: companies, acting alone or in small bi-lateral partnerships, are very unlikely to be able to significantly address the water challenges facing their operations, supply chains, and the surrounding communities," said Robin Farrington, senior policy advisor, International Water Policy and Infrastructure, GIZ. "Most water risks will only be addressed through sustained collective action between public, private, NGO and donor actors, in a way that compliments existing long-term efforts and public policy. The Hub will be a useful tool in helping actors understand who is working in the same watershed, playing an important role in initiating new partnerships which, if managed well, will hopefully lead to long-term public-private collective action."
About the UNGC CEO Water Mandate
Launched in July 2007, the CEO Water Mandate is a unique public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. The CEO Water Mandate recognizes that the business sector, through the production of goods and services, impacts water resources – both directly and through supply chains. Endorsing CEOs acknowledge that in order to operate in a more sustainable manner, and contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, they have a responsibility to make water-resources management a priority, and to work with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address this global water challenge. The CEO Water Mandate covers six elements: Direct Operations; Supply Chain and Watershed Management; Collective Action; Public Policy; Community Engagement; and Transparency.
About the International Business Leaders Forum
Founded in 1990, the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working with leading multinational companies on the sustainability and responsible business agenda. IBLF is supported by a network of over 85 multinational companies from Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East. These businesses are leaders in their sectors, and often in the fields of social environmental accountability, community investment, stakeholder consultation and partnerships.
About the German International Development Agency
The German International Development Agency (GIZ) is a state-owned enterprise operating in many fields such as economic development and employment promotion; democracy; peace building and civil conflict transformation; health and education; resource conservation and climate change mitigation. Most of our work is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), but other clients include national governments, the European Commission, World Bank and private companies.
About Deloitte's Sustainability Services Group
Deloitte's Sustainability Services Group draws on the insights and experience of Deloitte's four primary businesses—Consulting, Audit, Tax and Advisory Services-- and industry-specific services across corporate strategy and operations, supply chain, mergers and acquisitions, human capital and enterprise risk management. The result is a comprehensive set of capabilities to address a range of domestic and global business opportunities and risks related to energy supply, demand and efficiency, water and other resource scarcity, carbon and greenhouse gas regulation, and demand for increased transparency and assurance of non-financial performance. For more information, please visit: http://www.deloitte.com/us/sustainability
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.