California....Water: The place name and the liquid substance are interconnected in the minds of sustaianbility professionals thinking about climate change and the effects that we are already seeing in the American landscape.
The chronic drought in the Golden State has brought the water shortage issue in sharp relief, especially since California is for many crops the "breadbasket" of America, and sufficient water for irrigation and food processing is a critical need.
Water crises in the American West in general are now being seen as possible marketing opportunities by companies in the beverage, clothing and water-dependent products, at least in the claims being made about "sustainable products" to offer to consumers. Matt Weiser, Contributing Editor, Water Deeply -- brings us news about this in a commentary that is our Top Story.
The growing scarcity of water in the west and especially in California is prompting companies to broadcast water use reduction (such as in beverage manufacturing), or using recycled waste water in their apparel manufacturing.
Matt interviewed Kellen Klein, a senior manager at Fortune 500, a Portland, Oregon-based non-profit that "works to find common ground between corporations and environmental groups to help solve global problems."
A number of companies see water as critical to their brand, says Kellen Klein; this is in many ways the social license to operate, at least in certain geographies. Coca Cola Company is an example that he advances (he has worked on KO projects); the company has adopted a goal of replenishing water that goes into their products (which are sold in every country but a handful of nations around the world).
Levi's (California-based for more than a century) sells cotton jeans, which requires water to grow (the crop) and more water for washing. The company started an education program -- "Water-Less" to encourage consumers to use cold water settings and wash their Levi products less often (to conserve energy for hot water production and to conserve water).
Have you heard of Bonnesville Environmental Foundation? Coca Cola and other companies partner with this NGO in the "Change the Course" program, which has the aim of encouraging consumers to use less water. Consumers sign a pledge; money is then invested in projects to restore 1,000 gallons to critical watersheds.
' In the Top Story there is also news along these lines about Cerveza Imperial, the Costa Rican beer company; Fiji Water; Stone Brewing and an Arizona project.
Water, water, water - it's like location, location, location to Realtors for many companies. The challenge for many companies that depend on water as the basic resource for their products and services.There's interesting details for you in the Top Story about water and the corporate sector meeting the challenges.
KEYWORDS: Media & Communications, Water, business & trade, Corporate Social Responsibility, csr, G&A Institute, GRI, Governance & Accountability Institute, G&A, SRI, SWF, socially responsible investing, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Corporate Citizenship