NPWI is an ambition that manifests in water-stressed basins to create impact where it matters most. Delivering NPWI contributes toward reducing water stress in its three dimensions: availability (quantity), quality, and access. It ensures the company’s contributions exceed impacts on water stress in the same region. NPWI is quantifiable against the three dimensions of water stress, aligns with established methodologies (e.g., context and science-based water targets), and can be measured via both short-term outputs and long-term outcomes.
The UN Global Compact CEO Mandate and its Water Resilience Coalition call on businesses to join the NPWI (Net Positive Water Impact) journey to build resiliency for their own operations and the communities and ecosystems in which they operate. Deep dive into the business case and the pressing need for ambitious action on water to support resilience against climate impacts in this webinar hosted by the UN Global Compact Academy. Hear from companies who have taken action to achieve Net Positive Water Impact and learn steps your business can take on the road to NPWI.
The United Nations Global Compact SDG Ambition catalyzes innovative business strategies that significantly accelerate companies’ positive impact on the SDGs. Net Positive Water Impact is a cornerstone concept for accelerating progress on SDG6 – Water. Indeed, the dimensions of water stress addressed by NPWI (availability, quality and access) are anchored in UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
Companies must raise their business ambition on water. Beginning with benchmarking performance and assessing the true business value of water, companies can evaluate their water impact and establish a roadmap for action. Achieving these ambitions requires NPWI business integration. The SDG 6 Ambition Paper breaks down each step of the process and maps out the pathways, goals, and processes of Key Design Decisions in the implementation of NPWI.
Private Sector Applications of NPWI
“Global water use, storage and distribution, including the lack of wastewater treatment, contributes 10% of global greenhouse gases. Industry can no longer ignore the vital link between water and climate. Our focus as a global sustainability leader is to demonstrate this connection and have an impact where it matters most. Prioritizing investments in smart water management, water stewardship, and a commitment to collective action starts within our own operations. We will continue to demonstrate that companies can accelerate their growth while prioritizing superior water stewardship and the health of the planet and people.”
– Christophe Beck, President and CEO, Ecolab
“Our manufacturing site in Cape Town, South Africa is located in a water-stressed area. We are running a water reduction programme on site, while also working with the Water Resilience Coalition and partners on community projects to move towards Net Positive Water Impact in this basin as part of our corporate water strategy. There’s no doubt in my mind – collaboration is key to addressing the magnitude of the global water crisis, and the impact this has on people’s health.”
– Claire Lund, VP Sustainability, GSK
“Water is a critical resource for both our business and our communities. At AB InBev, we are committed to measurably improving watershed health in the water-stressed areas where we operate, and the concept of water positive impact guides our approach. An example of this is our collective action efforts to remove invasive plant species in the hops growing region of George, South Africa, resulting in an estimated 9 billion liters in annual water savings, enhanced biodiversity through regrowth of native fynbos, and an estimated 36,000 person-days of employment in the local community.”
–Andre Fourie, Global VP of Sustainability, AB InBev
“Watershed health protection is the heart of HEINEKEN’s water strategy. We focus on holistic water impact, optimising internal actions to ensure responsible water usage, wastewater management and promoting water security beyond our brewery walls especially in water-stressed areas. To understand water risks, we have in place a 3-step approach to assess our sites against the three dimensions of water-stress – an annual local assessment, deep dive global risk screening and detailed source vulnerabilities report shortlisted sites. Positive water impact at water-stressed areas is the ambition we have in place to work towards healthy watersheds. Each watershed is unique and we have learnt that collective action is key to reduce shared risks as we are working on at a number of sites including Mexico and Indonesia.”
– Prithi Sharma, Water Stewardship Lead, Corporate Affairs, HEINEKEN
– Kimberly Kupiecki, Global Sustainability Leader, DuPont Water Solutions
“DuPont is on a journey toward Net Positive Water Impact where we enable more clean water than we use. It starts with the responsible use of water within our own operations. And it continues with collective action and innovation to alleviate global water stress. But where DuPont makes the biggest difference is through the deployment of our water technologies and solutions around the world—solutions that today purify 50 million gallons of water per minute. From purifying water to revive a closed borehole in Ethiopia, to replenishing the aquifers in California, and recycling industrial water and raw materials in India—DuPont’s innovations are helping our customers and partners solve some of their biggest water and sustainability challenges. For example, DuPont helped Clearway Energy, a steam production provider, use and recycle groundwater rather than continuing to buy city water. With just one project, our customer helped the city of San Francisco meet its 2025 Sustainability Goals in one step, saving 30 million gallons of drinking water a year.”
“Water is central to our manufacturing process, and safe, accessible water is essential to the health of the communities in which we operate, critical to ecosystems and integral to economic growth. Collaborating in new and meaningful ways is essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 for clean water. Through the Water Resilience Coalition, Dow and TNC are among like-minded companies and NGOs looking to bring watershed stakeholders together to help sustainably manage scarce freshwater. This work aligns with our 2025 Leading the Blueprint Sustainability Goal, through which we seek to create a community of practice around watershed stewardship efforts and inspire others to forge collaborations globally to sustainably manage scarce freshwater.”
-Andre Argenton, Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Dow
“As a beverage company dependent on water at all levels of our value chain, we have a unique opportunity to develop and support leading solutions to local and global water challenges. We are excited to join the Water Resilience Coalition and, through collective action, scale the work we have underway to build healthy communities resilient to climate change.”
– Bob Gamgort, Chairman & CEO, Keurig Dr Pepper