Responsible water management is good business that can mitigate risks, cut down on costs, build trust with consumers and decision-making, and provide companies with a competitive advantage. These are some of the main points outlined in the report “Making Water Your Business – Company Perspectives from the Baltic Sea Region”, launched by the Baltic Development Forum at the 16th BDF Summit in Turku.
The publication, published by BDF with the aim of spreading knowledge and inspiration for action on water stewardship, shares perspectives on sustainable water management in the private sector, and outlines tools, concepts and platforms available. Gathering experiences and knowledge from companies throughout the Baltic Sea Region, the report shows that the region is home to companies that are front-runners in the field, going beyond legal compliance to become a driving force in the development of strategies and partnerships on water stewardship.
“In order to build a truly sustainable and smart Baltic Sea Region, we need the commitment of all actors, both public and private. It is encouraging to see that economic and environmental sustainability are mutually supporting objectives, and that pro-active and sustainable water management makes good business sense. We are also noting that in order to address water issues in a holistic way companies are increasingly reaching out to external stakeholders in their supply chains and basins”, says Hans Brask, Director of the Baltic Development Forum.
While freshwater of good quality is generally abundant in the Baltic Sea Region, we cannot expect that to be the case in the future, as climate change and human activity increases the strain on water resources. In the Baltic Sea Region there is also a unique challenge connected to pollution and eutrophication, and the industry has an important role to play in order to curb the transport of nutrients and hazardous substances from land to sea.
Companies contributing to the publication include UPM, Raisio, Yara, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola in Poland and Norway, and Swedavia. Together they represent a wide range of sectors and Baltic Sea Region countries.
Lovisa Selander, Head of Water and Environmental Affairs, Baltic Development Forum