Long gone are the days when water scarcity only affected high-stress regions and communities. It is a completely different scenario these days. Today’s world faces new issues posed by serious water scarcity. Yes, you heard me right. Around 40% of the world’s population deals with severe water scarcity, and that doesn’t end here. 80% of wastewater goes untreated in our environment, and just 4% gets reused. These numbers point towards a chronic shortage of water in the future and immediate actions to prevent further damage.
What Does Water Positive Mean For Companies?
Water positive for companies refers to returning more volume of water back to the ecosystem than using it in operations, packaging, product production, delivery, and other aspects. In simple words, a company moves towards a water positive footprint when it makes more water available to the sources as compared to its overall consumption.
Companies are defining the water use term as the total volume of water they are consuming. However, when it comes to water replenishment, some of the corporate giants are focusing only on the high-stress areas where they are running their operations bases.
Water Positive Goals Differ With Respect To Different Variables Like Ambition, Scope, And Urgency
Several top companies are setting ambitious goals to become water positive by 2030, but that differs for various industries. Companies in the oil and gas industry aim to achieve the goal by 2035, which further delays the overall timeline.
Moreover, the water use term differs among different companies too. For example, PepsiCo counts all the water that is used in its operation under the water use term but only in the regions that come under high stress. On the other hand, Meta accounts for the volume of water evaporated on their premises under the water use term.
Top Companies Moving Towards Water Positive Front
When it comes to working towards a water positive front, most companies follow an approach that involves two steps. The first is to reduce water consumption in the company, and the second step involves the replenishment of water bodies in high-stress areas. Here are some initiatives taken by the top companies to move towards water positive.
- IKEA is deploying strategies to increase the life of its products and material through material reuse and sharing. The strategy involves reducing water consumption by reducing the number of products which will save a lot of water. Moreover, they have invested in waste-water treatment to consume non-potable water from recycled sources.
- Microsoft aims to support efforts to improve the quality of 40 basins where they have operational bases that come under high-stress levels.
- PepsiCo is deploying high-class water efficiency policies and standards in its manufacturing sites to save up to 11 billion litres of water every year.
In short, companies have to invest continuously in the water positive front to hold the mantle and move towards a sustainable path.
The Bottom Line
It won’t be wrong to say that water shortage is a real issue and requires the attention of concerned authorities urgently. While many top companies are already pledging towards water-positive goals, it is still a grave issue that can cause havoc if not addressed. It’s crucial to identify ways to minimise water usage without increasing pollution or energy consumption.