Addressing corporate demand

What is the role of a corporation in helping restore or maintain water in rivers and in supporting thriving communities? Of course, the answer depends on the corporation, its mission, sense of corporate responsibility, and relationship to water. Most industries can reduce their water use, reuse water within their facilities, and incorporate recycling measures. As noted elsewhere on this website, industrial water consumers have multiple options for reducing the water footprint within their facilities and on their grounds. Such measures often make good economic sense.

Companies can also influence smart water choices within their supply chain and even invest in watershed restoration or replenishment as a way to offset their water use or achieve corporate water sustainability goals. Water stewardship goals can help companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, manage water-related risks, and reduce threats to their social license to operate. Community projects to remove trash or address pollution further demonstrate the value of corporate citizenship. Check out the promising efforts of Coca Cola Company, PepsiCo,  General Mills, Bridgestone, Keurig Green Mountain, Starbucks, and others.

How do you get started working with corporations? First, identify the companies working in your watershed. Second, understand their water use (what are they permitted to withdraw and discharge, are they staying within these limits, and so on). Third, explore whether they have a citizen engagement, corporate responsibility, or water stewardship program, particularly one that takes them beyond the footprint of their facilities. Fourth, if they do have a program, consider whether there is a way to connect them to your work. If they don’t have a program, help them start one.

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