By Sumaa Tekur
Drip. Drip. Enterprises around the world are turning their attention to the same cause: water sustainability.
From the ground-up view, water-stressed communities across the globe are pressing the panic button. Two-thirds of global consumers are expected to face water shortages by 2025. Large-scale water issues are leading to unprecedented changes in the consumerscape. A weak 2012 monsoon led some hospitals in India’s capital, Delhi, to cancel surgeries this summer. They had no water to sterilize instruments and wash hands (Firstpost.com, 24 July 2012). A drought has severely impacted more than 60% of the US, leading to a spike in food prices that in turn affects countries to which the US exports food.
Corporations are responding to both short- and long-term water crises with plans for innovation; they’re cutting back, finding new sources, and reusing. FMCG company Unilever aims to halve the water consumption associated with its products by 2020. For instance, for consumers, they introduced spray-on dry shampoo in India and a Comfort One Rinse in Vietnam, both of which reduce consumers’ need for water (EconomicTimes.com, 25 April 2012). And initiatives like these are just the tip of the iceberg.
When it comes to initiatives like water sustainability, collaboration is more than just a buzzword. Enterprises that share information and learn from others, rivals or not, get at the quickest solutions to water sustainability. Further, it’s time for an overall culture of water abundance to be switched off at the tap. When it comes to consumer messaging, cut the jargon. Green buzzwords quickly exhaust consumers. Have employees internalize conservation, and communicate the company’s sustainability goals to them in simpler, actionable terms.