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Rio+20: Pepsi, Coke, Levi Strauss to Set Water Efficiency Goals; Other Summit Business News

CEOs from The Coca-Cola Company, Pepsico, Levi Strauss & Co., Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever and 40 other international companies have agreed to set targets on their own water efficiency and wastewater management in factories and operations, and have called on governments attending the Rio+20 Earth Summit to make global water security a top priority.

The 45 CEOs — all of whom have endorsed the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate — have pledged to work with suppliers to improve their water practices, and partner with nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, governments and public authorities, investors, and other stakeholders on water-related projects and solutions.

In the communiqué, they called on governments to:

  • Develop policies and incentives to improve water productivity and efficiency in all sectors, especially agriculture.
  • Establish fair and appropriate valuation of water for agriculture, industry and people.
  • Increase investment in infrastructure and develop policies to accelerate access to, and ensure efficient and reliable delivery of, water and sanitation services.
  • Share policies, innovations and tools among governments and other stakeholders.
  • Work more actively with the business community, private finance and civil society.

Signatories include: AB InBev, AkzoNobel, Allergan, Banco do Brasil, Bayer, Calvert Investments, Carlsberg Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Hellenic, De Beers Group, Diageo, Dow Chemical Company, DSM, Eskom, GDF SUEZ, GlaxoSmithKline, H&M, Heineken, Hainan Jinhai Pulp & Paper Company, Hindustan Construction Company, Indah Kiat Pulp& Paper; Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia, Levi Strauss & Co., Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industries, Merck, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Nedbank Group, Nestlé S.A., Netafim, Pepsico, Pernod Ricard, Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills, Reed Elsevier, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Philips Electronics, SABMiller, Saint-Gobain, Sasol, Sekem, Shanghai Baosteel Group, Stora Enso, Tata Steel, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Veolia Water, Woolworths and Xstrata.

The communiqué is among a host of corporate sustainability initiatives and reports coming out of the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

Seventy-nine percent of consumers worldwide have a more positive perception of brands produced with wind energy, and 50 percent of consumers worldwide would pay extra for products based on renewable energy, according to a “Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity,” a report by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact.

Accenture and the UN Global Compact interviewed more than 70 companies across 19 industries to identify business opportunities that come out of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which includes three primary objectives to be met by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Companies were primarily UN Global Compact LEAD companies and Caring for Climate signatories.

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