by China Water Risk 10 October, 2013
The focus of last month’s World Water Week was on cooperation & partnerships. With that in mind, this month we took a look at “water cooperation” at a corporate level, within a sector and across international borders. Are corporates & governments doing enough? Despite recognition of the material impact of water risks in certain sectors, there is no universally agreed definition of water stewardship, leaving companies unsure of what it is and what to do. Whilst WWF’s Stuart Orr walks us through why companies should manage multi-faceted water risks, Fran Hughes of the International Tourism Partnership discusses the results of a recent study conducted by SIWI on the risks exposure of hotels located in Shanghai, Beijing, UAE & India and argues why water management strategies within the hotel industry must move beyond water use. Basically, companies can do much more. It seems investors would benefit too: the newly launched ‘Global Compact 100’, a stock index of companies committed to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact beat the FTSE All World benchmark by over 25%. A fluke? PwC Partner, Gayle Donohue discusses research which shows that investors value fuller disclosure. Perhaps it’s time to consider Integrated Reporting… Jonathan Labrey of the International Integrated Reporting Council gives us the lowdown. On to government … MEP admitted that the “current water situation is still grim” and four provinces set aside RMB22 billion to clean up their rivers and lakes. Ningxia and Anhui are launching pilot initiatives, whilst Beijing continues to lead the way with a detailed groundwater prevention plan. Not surprising as 40% of the public surveyed now view water pollution as a “very big problem” compared to 33% in 2012. Li Keqiang himself “launched” the approval of the Draft Urban Drainage & Sewage Treatment Regulations. Given the flurry of activity within China, are China’s neighbours also focused on water? With over 70% of water sourced from mainland China, Dr Frederick Lee of Hong Kong University argues that it is time HK resets its water agenda & goals through proper water pricing, whilst Professor Wouters, Director of the UNESCO Centre for Water Law & the China International Water Law Centre of Xiamen University gives us her views on China’s ‘soft path’ to transboundary water. Looks like more cooperation is required all around, please!
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