A Holistic Approach to Water Stewardship

The demand and competition for diminishing water resources has resulted in unprecedented attention on water. Communities across the globe are increasingly challenged with providing sustainable and reliable water supplies to households, agriculture, and industry.

Recognizing water as a rising global challenge and the linkages to business, many companies have significantly advanced their water strategies over the past few years. Much of this work has been placed upon defining more holistic approaches to water stewardship. One such company is Cummins. Since 2011, the global power systems manufacturer has evolved their approachto water into a comprehensive pathway to water stewardship throughouttheir global operations. Founded upon managing the footprint of theiroperations first and foremost, their approach now extends outward toaccount for community, watershed, and supply chain components. Thecompany's approach is based upon three core elements:

H ow our facilities source, use and discharge water

H ow we interact with the communities and watersheds within which we operate

O ur total value chain and global footprint

Why are companies defining holistic approaches to water stewardship? Water is a unique business issue that can vary in terms of significance and business implications from geography-to-geography. This requires a non-traditional approach compared with other business variables. Take it from Todd Swingle, Director - Environmental Strategy at Cummins, Inc:

" We recognized that the approach taken with energy couldn't be directly applied to water. Water issues are highly complex and different in every region. The economics for water are much more challenging than for energy - our company needed to take a different approach."

A company's water strategy must apply consistently across a wide range of location-specific water considerations such as:

Source: Antea Group