24 August 2011The Guardian Sustainable Business Water hub - Live discussion from World Water Week: the importance of partnerships in addressing water risk
Wednesday 24 August 2-4pm (BST)
Join discussion: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/online-discussion-private-public-partnerships-water-risk
Addressing water scarcity presents a hugely complex challenge for businesses. There are a large number of stakeholders involved in any potential solution and issues differ greatly from region to region. This means that intelligent cross-sector collaboration is key to establishing successful strategies for water management.
Some businesses are starting to recognise and respond to the complexities; one of them is SABMiller, Andy Wales who leads SABMiller's sustainable development efforts, says that "faced with climate change, inadequate infrastructure and population growth, business cannot respond to these challenges alone. It is critical that a collaborative approach is taken and in a way which attracts the support of all relevant stakeholders."
SABMiller is working with WWF and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) on a Water Futures Partnership. The partnership examines new approaches to water management, particularly developing a robust approach to evaluating water risks throughout SABMiller's value chain and sharing best practice throughout the business's global operations on how to tackle these risks.
In addition to the Water Futures Partnership, there are plenty more examples of how collaborative approaches to water management delivers positive results. From Wessex Water working with UK farmers to improve water quality to Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) working with a whole range of stakeholders - entrepreneurs, water companies, global corporations and domestic water users - to secure positive outcomes for both local communities and businesses.
So how can business ensure successful partnerships that give a fair deal to all stakeholders?
To address this and other questions, The Guardian has brought together a panel of experts for an interactive online discussion. If you'd like to add your thoughts, or pose a question to the panel, join the live discussion on Wednesday 10 August from 2-4pm (BST) by clicking the link below:
David Grant, sustainable development projects manager, SABMiller
Robin Farrington, development partnerships in the water sector, GIZ
Dave Tickner, head of freshwater programmes, WWF-UK
Marielle Canter Weikel, director of corporate freshwater strategies, Conservation International