Businesses should invest in partnerships to secure water availability and quality and protect both the environment and long-term profitability, according to Karl Lippert, President, SABMiller Latin America.
In a keynote speech today at The Economist World Water Summit, Mr Lippert outlines that tackling water scarcity is critical to releasing untapped prosperity at all levels – from rural livelihoods through to company growth and for entire national economies
He says businesses using water as a core part of their operations should let go of a “compliance mind-set” and quantify the business value that needs to be protected through investment in water security
The president further outlined that Partnerships between communities, central and local governments, businesses and NGOs are the only effective solution to tackling shared resource risks such as water scarcity
“Water needs to be seen by both businesses and policy-makers as far more than simply an environmental issue. It is a social issue, a health issue, a development issue, a business issue and an economic issue. SABMiller invests in partnerships to secure water for our business growth and for all other water users around us. This is a business investment, contributing to our profit, as well as one that delivers strong social and environmental benefits.” Mr Lippert says:
In his speech, Mr Lippert outlines how SABMiller has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, a leading environmental organisation, and local utility companies to develop water funds in several countries in Latin America. These funds use market incentives to encourage local farming communities in sensitive watersheds to develop more efficient and sustainable ways of farming, while at the same time rehabilitating and protecting the watersheds. This intervention, over time, lowers the cost of water for communities and businesses while augmenting supply.