Another warning on waterMarch 2010
New SRI research has warned of the increasing regulatory and reputational risks associated with water, and suggests treating the topic in the same way as carbon emissions.
Canadian indexing consultancy Janzti Sustainalytics says firms should develop company-wide 'water footprints' and global water policies to tackle the risk of regulatory sanctions and reputational damage.
'Regulators may be forced to restrict access to water by imposing limits, or by putting in place a withdrawal cost high enough to reduce demand,' it says in a new paper called Water: the Next Carbon.
It adds: 'As the notion that water is a fundamental human right gains acceptance, so too does the belief that water-intensive industries have a responsibility to respect water rights in the communities in which they operate.'
Ulrike Sapiro, corporate responsibility director for environment at Coca-Cola Europe, which has been developing a wide-ranging policy on water use, told EP: 'As a corporate responsibility issue, water is five years behind the carbon curve. But many more companies are now beginning to give it some attention.'
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