Here are the top stories to emerge so far from World Water Week in Stockholm.
The Coca-Cola Company has partnered with nonprofit Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor to support new programs in four African countries, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar and Mozambique, that aim to provide sustainable solutions for clean water and sanitation service delivery for at least 270,000 people. The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation will give $4.6 million towards the program. The Coca-Cola funding will be matched by WSUP partners, local communities and governments. The programs are to be part of the company’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), an effort to provide at least 2 million people with clean water access by the end of 2015.
Olam International, a processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, has signed of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate and made an additional pledge to reduce fresh water use in processing and irrigation across its global supply chain 10 percent per metric ton by 2015 and 2020, respectively. The CEO Water Mandate is an international public-private initiative launched in 2007 by the UN Secretary-General designed to help companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. It covers direct operations, supply chain management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency.
Clothing manufacturer and retailer H&M will discuss during World Water Week what drove its partnerships on water issues, lessons learned over the past 20 years and future challenges of reducing water use in its supply chain. The company says it’s currently introducing a global sustainability e-learning program with water as a key focus. All 104,000 H&M employees will learn about why water is important and H&M designers and buyers will receive further training in the water impacts of raw material production as well as wet processes for different styles. Earlier this year, H&M developed a global water strategy with conservation organization WWF that will be implemented across the fashion retailer’s 48 national markets and 750 direct suppliers.
In May, drip- and micro-irrigation company Netafim learned it won the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award for its technology, which halves water use compared to other irrigation solutions while increasing crop yields. Netafim will receive the award at World Water Week. Last year, PepsiCo’s won the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its more than 20 percent improvement in global water efficiency since 2006.