Water-related risks in large companies

Like in many other occasions, Nordic countries seem to go a step further in environmental topics; or at least they use to start walking a bit earlier than the rest. Nordea Asset Management jointly with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) have recently published a study on how 13 of the most important (Nasdaq - OMX listed) Swedish companies are managing the water scarcity and the water-related risks.

http://www.siwi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Scoping-study-water-risk_webb_30-june.pdf

With the grim forecast of an increase in the global water demand for the industry sector from the current 16% to 22% in just 15 years, the competition for the water supplies, along with the escalation of the prices due to the associated costs, are almost for granted. As an example, the estimation only for the externalization costs is almost USD 3 billion for 2030. Attending to these data the concern among the business class is easily understandable. However, this concern may be transformed into actions. New opportunities for the development have appeared, associated to the necessity for more efficient water management; and many companies have now begun to diversify their approaches. Both sectors, financial and non-financial ones, are aware of the present and future water-related risks repercussion which will affect the potential monetary loss for the clients, the increase of the internal costs, or even the negative brand value for investors. To be responsible with the water policies within the companies is starting to result profitable; or, in the other way around, not to be consistent has stopped being cheap.

There is still a deep debate and a huge gap in the approaches to achieve the corporative equilibrium between sustainability and effectiveness. However, this study shows a crucial hallmark in this search: this equilibrium is no longer optional, but urgently required, also for the business profitability.