Make water security top priority at Rio+20, say global CEOs

Chief executives of 45 international businesses are calling for water security to be a top priority at the Rio+20 environmental summit, which officially kicks off tomorrow.

Representatives of big hitters including Nestle, Coca Cola and Glaxo SmithKline signed a communiqué highlighting the global urgency of the water crisis.

They asked governments to establish a “fair and appropriate valuation” for water, increase infrastructure investment and develop policies to incentivise greater water efficiency.

In return, the CEOs, who all endorse the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, committed to improve their companies’ water management practices.

“This is a powerful statement by business leaders to governments everywhere – make water sustainability a priority,” said Gavin Power, deputy director of the UN Global Compact and head of the CEO Water Mandate.

“The global water crisis demands collective action – uniting business, the public sector, civil society, and other stakeholders. This Communiqué and the examples of action show that many businesses are ready to raise their game even further – urging that governments do the same.

“Hopefully, Rio+20 will help focus minds and lead to a new era in which water-aware governments take decisive action, working with business and other partners to achieve related sustainability goals in the years and decades ahead.”

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