Friday, July 10, 2009

Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy: Global Water Crisis

I think you might be interested in the most recent issue of The Corporate Philanthropist published by the Center Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (founded by the late Paul Newman).

The Corporate Philanthropist
Spring/Summer 2009 issue: The Global Water Crisis

“The shortage of clean drinking water and lack of access to sanitation in areas of the developing world requires the involvement of all sectors of society, including business. This edition of The Corporate Philanthropist focuses on the global water crisis, exploring how companies can partner and collaborate with multilateral organizations, governments, local enterprises, and nonprofit organizations in order to work towards innovative, sustainable solutions, while reinforcing business strategies. Articles highlight the philanthropic strategies at Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, GlaxoSmithKline, ITT, and Pepsi, among many other companies.”
Articles include:

· The Water Crisis: A New Way Forward
· The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009
· Engagement with Multilateral Organizations
· Innovative Financing of Water Projects
· Water Needs Public-Private Partnerships
· Resources for Water Partnerships

Kudos to the many companies highlighted who are part of the solution. To the others: chop chop. This global water issue isn't going to solve itself. Some encouragement regarding the potential upside of water and corporate social responsibility initiatives:

Topline impact: business opportunities and market positioning, especially in the fastest-growing markets in the developing world.

Bottom line impact: save money and time, and minimize risk. Business decisions will be better if the water issue is incorporated early in decision-making processes, e.g. where to locate a new factory, how and from whom to source raw materials, how to establish and maintain relationships with local communities.

Prouder employees in rich countries, and prouder and healthier employees in poor countries.

Enhanced corporate reputation and image in the developed as well as in the developing world:
- Better relations with governments and local communities throughout thedeveloping world: water projects are an effective way of minimizing the risk of being seen as ‘just taking, not giving.’
- Better relations with financial and other stakeholders in the developed world – water is increasingly being highlighted in annual reports, and annual citizenship reports. Some companies are even publishing reports dedicated entirely to their management of water resources, for example Nestlé’s 2006 Water Management Report

Saves lives of children, and improves livelihoods - of poor women in particular -throughout the developing world.

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