At a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the leaders of six of the world's largest companies -- Coca-Cola, Levi Strauss, Lackeby Water Group, Nestle, SABMiller and Suez -- issued a call to action to global corporate leadership to address the emerging global water crisis.

The six CEOs used the meeting of business leaders to launch The CEO Water Mandate to help companies better manage water use in their direct operations and throughout their supply chains.

According to the Human Development Report 2006, a water crisis is deepening around the world. More than one billion people lack clean water for drinking, and 2.6 billion lack sanitation. Water experts predict that the situation will worsen in many parts of the world in the coming decades as a result of factors including urbanization and population growth, increasing food production, changing consumption patterns, industrialization, pollution, and climate change.

The CEO Water Mandate asks companies to make progress in six areas:

  • Direct Operations;
  • Supply Chain and Watershed Management;
  • Collective Action;
  • Public Policy;
  • Community Engagement; and
  • Transparency.

The CEO Water Mandate pledge to set water-use targets, assist suppliers with water-efficiency practices and partner with governments, policy makers and community groups to address water shortages and sanitation.

The mandate seeks to mobilize a critical mass of companies in all regions of the world. The initiative will assist endorsers through policy dialogues, facilitation with respect to partnerships, and the dissemination of existing and new tools as well as other resources.

The initiative is open to all participating companies of the Global Compact. It requires the endorsement of a company's CEO, which should be communicated via the Global Compact address provided at the U.N. Global Compact's Web site:
http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/Environment/Water_sustainability/index.html


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