Corporate Action That’s Making a Difference on SDG 6-Water and Sanitation

17 Weeks for 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
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Why Take Action on Goal 6?
The Global Challenge
While there is sufficient fresh water on the planet for everyone, millions of people per year die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. About 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services (toilets), and 1.8 billion people worldwide drink from a fecally contaminated water source. Declining water quality is an acute problem around the world due to agricultural runoff, industrial wastewater, and improper disposal of human waste.
Your Business Opportunity
Water scarcity and pollution create business risk through scarcity and flooding, water quality affected by pollution, reputational risk, and regulatory risk. Current estimates predict a 40% global shortfall in water supply by 2030, and businesses are recognizing that continuing to manage water the same way will place $63 trillion worth of business at risk – or 1.5 times today’s global economy.
Water stewardship helps companies identify and manage water-related business risks and enable more sustainable management of shared freshwater resources. Protecting water resources and ensuring sanitation for all also reduces operational costs, protects the company from water stress; and improves the company’s image in the eyes of consumers, investors, and nearby communities.
Register for GSC’s Upcoming Webinars
Sustainable Supply Chains: Through the Lens of the 17 SDGs (Greyston Bakery)
Wednesday, April 13th, 10:00 am ET

Join GSC and the UN Global Compact to learn how sustainable supply chains contribute to the SDGs. This webinar will feature Greyston, America’s oldest leading social enterprise. Best known for Greyston Bakery, which produces brownies for Ben & Jerry’s and Whole Foods, Greyston provides employment opportunities to individuals regardless of background or work history. Register Here.

GSC 17 Weeks / 17 SDGs Webinar Featuring CDP Supply Chains Program Report
Wednesday, June 8th, 12:00 pm ET
This joint webinar with CDP will highlight how global companies are: Integrating CDP data into their procurement processes; Using CDP data to set targets for GHG emissions and water conservation; and Collaborating with suppliers on climate change initiatives that drive carbon and cost savings. Register Here.
Take Action on Goal 6 and Make a Difference
Identify Water and Sanitation Challenges in your Supply Chain
GSC SDG 6 image World Health Organization – global data on water, sanitation and hygene (WASH)
View the proportion of the population using improved sanitation facilities, for each country in your supply chain, and other indicators available from the Global Health Observatory.
UN World Water Development – data and indicators
Do you have suppliers in Asian cities? Check their reliance on groundwater, and other data and indicators on water around the world, via this yearly report.
CDP water report image CDP Global Water Report
Get an interactive view of water-related impacts on operations in South Africa, China, Brazil and elsewhere. Such impacts include supply chain disruption, higher operating costs, and production disruption.
CDP also provides sector profiles (consumer staples, energy, health care, industrials, information technology, materials and utilities) of water use and stewardship.
Learn from Leaders Taking Action on SDG 6
Levi Made of Progress video Levi Strauss

In Levi Strauss’ experience, every step of the process to create a garment requires water, from the cotton fields to manufacturing facilities. In light of water’s increasing scarcity, the company has taken steps to “decouple the growth of our business and our water needs,” in order to continue leading into the future.” It has launched the Water<Less process that has reduced water usage, saving over 1 billion liters since 2011. Cotton cultivation is particularly water-intensive, so the company is helping to train farmers to grow cotton using less water, through its global suppliers. Learn more.

The mining company’s global water strategy helps manage and mitigate water risks by: fully understanding the watersheds where we operate; participating in addressing watershed challenges for communities, other water users and the operation during all stages of the mine lifecycle; and transparently reporting on our performance. Each Newmont operating site uses the Water Accounting Framework to define, measure and report water use. They use saline or non-potable water, and reduce freshwater consumption by recycling and reusing water in ore processing. Many of the sites are “zero process discharge facilities.” Learn more.
GM Arlington General Motors
To create ultrapure water for vehicle paint processes, General Motors filters water to remove calcium, iron and magnesium, which used to be discharged into the city sewer. But by working with its suppliers, GM developed a collection system to capture, contain, and pump the discharged water into cooling towers, used for air conditioning and other processes. GM says the initial investment will pay for itself in less than a year and a half, with continued savings of $38,000 per year, in addition to the environmental benefits. Learn more about GM’s global water conservation efforts.
Amplify your Impact: Collaborate with NGOs
and Other Companies
Partnering with NGOs focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can help leverage the experiences, knowledge, best practices and network of these global organizations to amplify your efforts.
Connect the drops image Connect the Drops Campaign
Coordinated by Ceres, the Connect the Drops Campaign brings together companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Annie’s, EILEEN FISHER, Genentech, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss, and Xylem in a collective commitment to saving nearly one billion gallons of water through 2020, to elevate the voice of California businesses in favor of conservation, reuse and integrated management of the state’s precious surface and groundwater supplies. Any company with a water footprint in California and more than $100 million in annual revenues is eligible to participate in the campaign, which has been recognized by the White House.
Ceres highlights benefits to companies such as: heightened visibility for water leadership and public recognition for water stewardship efforts, collaboration with other companies, and access to best practices in corporate water stewardship.
CDP water image CDP’s Water Program
This program enables companies to disclose and reduce their environmental impacts, ultimately mitigating risk. CDP provides the only global platform for corporate water disclosure and action to address the global water crisis. Learn more.
Wash4work infographic WASH4Work
WASH4Work is an initiative by 11 organizations to address WASH challenges in the workplace, workers’ communities, and across supply chains. Stakeholders are supporting businesses to take action for safe access to WASH. Current partners include: Global Poverty Project, International Labor Organization, UN Foundation, UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, UNICEF, Unilever, USAID, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, WaterAid, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Learn more.
The ‘WASH in the Workplace’ Pledge outlines commitments to: monitor water use and invest in water saving and recycling/reuse measures; manage chemical inputs and treat/reuse wastewater to protect communities’ water supply; participating in community water safety planning; and supporting local and national government actions to address WASH challenges in the community.
Join the Sustainable Sourcing Community:
Become a GSC Member to Drive Results
Download 17/17 Prospectus As a GSC member, you will gain global exposure for your sustainability efforts and benefit from the ability to demonstrate leadership, educate and inspire more action in sourcing, supply chains and procurement.
As part of your GSC membership, you will also have the opportunity to communicate your SDG support of the 17 Weeks/17 SDGs initiative and sponsor the 3S Awards.
GSC 17/17 Media Partners
GA Institute SIG 3BL Media 2Degrees Network
Highlight your Work for Water and Sanitation in Sourcing:
Apply Today for 2016 3S Awards
3S Contact Form 3S Awards 2016
Are you a supplier addressing WASH challenges in your community? Do you know of others working to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation in their supply chains?
Contact Angeline Judex, GSC Executive Director to learn how to participate in the 2016 3S (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing) Awards and Gala taking place in New York in November.
Banza video 3S 2015 Nominee for Communicty Engagement Award: Banza Sanitation
Banza Ltd. Is a social enterprise venture addressing sanitation and health concerns in East Africa. It aims to address the full spectrum of human waste management and the health and environmental problems that result from poor sanitation conditions in informal living settlements in urban environments.
Join the Conversation and Share your SDG 6 Story: Follow GSC
@GlobalSourcing Tweet GSC1717 to share your sustainability story and highlight your support of SDG6 actions and commitments. Follow @GlobalSourcing
Attend an Upcoming Event on Sustainable Business and SDGs
Join GSC Experts
  • UN Global Compact webinar with GSC: Sustainable Supply Chains: Through the Lens of the 17 SDGs (April 13, virtual)
  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) event: Why are the SDGs Relevant for the Private Sector? (April 22, Geneva)
  • CSR Certificate Program (Rutgers Business School’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute (April 27-28, Newark, NJ)
  • CDP-GSC Webinar (June 8, virtual)
GSC Partner Events

Other Events on Sustainability and Business

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Latest News on SDG 6
Report by Sustainable Brands highlights WaterAid as an NGO leading the way on SDG Goal6 – tackling clean water and…
As a zero discharge facility, the Vadinar refinery is conserving water & making every drop count. Goal6 SDG
3BL Media News