Water affects industries’ bottom lines. Water shortages, extreme weather events and climate change mean that industries must choose how rather than if they improve their resilience and the sustainability of their water use. Managing water better is an opportunity for industry to strengthen competitiveness and attract investments. At the same time this secures their license to operate, reduces financial losses and altogether ensures business continuity while delivering social value.
Reducing water-related risks in the face of extreme weather events and climate change is key to ensuring business continuity and protecting commercial and financial viability. Industries which are actively seeking solutions are successfully building resilience whilst embracing the opportunities that improved management of water processes and supply chain can deliver.
You're invited to our series on water for industry
Business leaders and industry frontrunners are invited to share their perspectives and experiences of the water, weather and climate challenges industries face in this series. In particular, we’ll explore their visions of creating business value through enhancing resilience, water stewardship and sustainable use of water.
In context: managing risk responsiblyAccording to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020, four environmental risks dominate the top 5 global risks in terms of likelihood and impact: climate action failure; extreme weather events; water crises and natural disasters.
Water is essential to human life but also to the operation and success of industry, affecting bottom lines, investment and development decisions. Whilst industry has a responsibility to the world’s population to manage its water use, it also has one to shareholders, investors and employees. Better understanding of water-related risk and improved mitigation measures and contingency plans are vital to the long-term success of their operations.
By integrating sustainable use of water into their processes and decision making, industry has not only the opportunity to meet increasingly stringent regulations but to move beyond compliance and unlock the economic potential of better water efficiency.
Let the water in: integrating water into decision making
To manage risks and reduce business disruption caused by extreme weather and climate change, industries must choose how, not if, they integrate water-risk mitigation measures throughout their operation.
Increasing competition for water demands immediate action, and a step change in the way that companies manage water. Alongside this, investors are paying closer attention to water, for example by asking for disclosure of climate related risks.Read Lennart’s blog on Water Risk Mitigation
To manage these risks and reduce business disruption caused by extreme weather and climate change, industries must choose how, not if, they will integrate water-risk mitigation measures throughout their operation.
Global Director Water For Industry at Royal HaskoningDHV
Ensuring business continuity
Almost all natural disasters are water related. With climate change and extreme weather events set to increase, industry must act to improve resilience to water-related risk.
The production networks, supply chains and distribution channels of multinational companies traverse the world. Due to the nature of these vast networks, local issues with supply and delivery of goods could lead to global disruption. Disrupted processes and practices can result in unsafe working conditions, dissatisfied customers, loss of market share and income, damage to brand reputation, production stops, supply chain delays, damaged goods, contractual claims, and loss of jobs.
Our digitally driven, business continuity services enable industries to sense and respond more quickly to the cascading effects of disturbances in today’s complex delivery and production systems. By combining knowledge and insights, potential cascading effects are mapped, and pinch points and potential failure nodes identified. In this way, we enable industries to mitigate by adopting resilience strategies.
Water stewardshipWater is essential to business operations but its management must be understood within its wider context. Good water stewardship allows businesses to balance and forecast their water needs and the needs of communities and the natural world.
As increasing numbers of industries face challenges around quality and quantity of available water, the economic and social pressure to improve water stewardship is growing. Industry must see this need as an opportunity not merely a matter of compliance.
We partner with industries to identify potential for water saving and material recovery options at site level, and by assessing water vulnerability at catchment level. Successful water stewards understand shared concerns on water balance and water quality. By aligning company-wide decision making with sustainable water use industries can minimize business disruption and help secure themselves, and their catchment area neighbors, a more resilient future.
Sustainable water use
In areas of significant water stress industrial water needs are likely to be prioritized behind those of drinking water and food production. It’s therefore of paramount importance that businesses commit to sustainable water use.
Sustainable water use aims to meet present demands without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. To achieve this, a paradigm shift is needed in both our use of fresh and wastewater resources.
Currently, over 80 percent of wastewater produced returns to the environment without being treated or reused. This damages ecosystems and has a costly impact on society. As well as protecting ecosystems, transforming our approach to wastewater also offers significant opportunities including raw material recovery.
We partner with industries, advising, engineering and implementing smart (digital) solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle water, and – at the same time – recover resources and replenish water ecosystems. In this way, we co-create improvements for industries’ operations, other water users and the ecosystems they operate in and depend upon.