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Industry needs to step up to safeguard vital water resources


Grundfos India Partners with CDP to Promote the Business Case for Water Disclosure in the Country

There will be increased pressures on industry to conserve water as India approaches water-stress conditions and could be water-scarce by 2020, finds CDP’s report titled ‘The Business Case for Water Disclosure in India’. Nearly 50% of villages do not have any source of protected drinking water. Rapid population growth coupled with mass industrialization, expanding agriculture and urbanization has resulted in an increase in competing demands for water resources. The country faces a looming water crisis where demand is set to outstrip supply by 50% by 2030 according to the 2030 Water Resources Group. As a result, governments are increasingly putting pressure on industries to adopt best international practices to improve water management.

Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd. (Grundfos India), has partnered with CDP to launch the report prepared by CDP and KPMG which aims to promote water stewardship and reporting among the corporate community in the country.

Commenting on this latest Grundfos India initiative focussed on water conservation, Ranganath N. K., Managing Director, Grundfos India, said “Water is a major driver for sustenance of a civilisation, food security and economic prosperity. Its mismanagement can result in significant harm to the environment and to the people. Effective management of water resources and use is one of the most critical business and sustainability challenges of the 21st century. We hope that through this report, we are able to help fuel the acceptance of water auditing and annual water reporting within corporate India”.

CDP’s water report identifies that companies are increasingly aware of water related risks but actions to manage water issues at a corporate level are inadequate. An increasing number of stakeholders are calling for transparent and comparable disclosure of water related information from Indian companies for consideration in decision making. Interestingly, the report also highlights how water presents a strategic opportunity for companies to improve financial and brand performance. It stresses that disclosure is good for business: The process of water disclosure helps businesses and institutional investors to better understand the risks and opportunities associated with water scarcity and other water-related issues whilst promoting water stewardship and delivering insight that enables companies to take intelligent action to manage this critical resource.

This report is aimed at government, business and investor communities and states the case for why corporate water disclosure is the most effective way to stimulate a rational and coherent business response to the issues of water availability. The report finds that:
    • India faces an impending water crisis as it moves on into the 21st century with the
       potential to stifle economic growth.
    • Water is a critical business issue that deserves serious attention. An increasing number
       of stakeholders are calling for transparent and comparable disclosure of water related
       information from Indian companies for consideration in decision making.
    • Indian businesses are currently underestimating water-related risks due to a lack of
       effective measurement and monitoring.
    • Companies see the water crisis as a serious and immediate threat: Two thirds of Global
      500 respondents to CDP’s water questionnaire report exposure to water-related risks,
       of which 64% have the potential to impact business now or within the next five years.
    • Companies are aware of increasing water related risks but actions to manage water
       issues at a corporate level are inadequate: More than half of Indian companies (55%)
       have a water policy, strategy or management plan in place. Butonly half of these
       policies include concrete quantitative goals or targets for water resource management.
    • Most of the companies are focusing only on direct operations, while serious water related
      risks might lie in the supply-chain: Around 60% of the companies analyzing water related
      risks are doing that only at facility or business unit level. Similarly, 56% of all the water-
      related goals and targets are focused on direct operations.

Reemphasizing the importance of corporate water disclosure, Damandeep Singh, Director, CDP India, said “The availability and quality of water poses a dirty and deep challenge to businesses and communities in India like many parts of world. Both the UN and IPCC have warned of increasing water stress in large parts of the world. These factors will limit economic development and greatly exacerbate rural poverty, particularly in emerging and developing economies. Businesses, as well as nations, need to prepare and work towards safeguarding this vital resource which is already becoming as expensive as oil in some parts of the world. The introduction of CDP’s water program in India in 2015 will address this information gap by driving companies to measure, monitor and ultimately manage water-related risks.”
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