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To: CEO of National Business Initiative and affiliated members

Business and industry must heed urgent call to save water

Business and industry must heed urgent call to save water

Dear Joanne Yawitch

We the undersigned, call on the NBI (National Business Initiative) affiliates to take the following measures to improve water management practices:
- Implement a complete water audit as the first step to understand the water use in your supply chain and the business risk it represents. This audit should also identify areas for improvement and concrete actions for water efficiency enhancement;
- Set ambitious and transparent targets on water use and efficiency improvements. This should include your own supply chain and production processes and also significant suppliers of raw materials or products and help them to evaluate and reduce the water use in their operations;
- Take a leadership role in developing water efficient products and dropping the production and sale of products that waste water.
- Begin multi-stakeholder discussions at the community level and embrace partnerships with government and municipalities to develop sustainable and state-of-the-art infrastructure for water supply, sanitation and pollution controls.

Why is this important?

Women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection. They often have to walk an average of 7 Kilometres a day just to collect water. If businesses reduced their water usage by 10%, 624,000 households would gain access to 30 kilolitres a day.

For a sector that uses 27% of the total water supply overall, the response from the business community to date has been inadequate. While South Africa has been hit by one of the worse droughts in its history and the people of Mzansi have been inundated with messages on individual responsibility to save water, we fail to see a similar commitment by the business community, who have the resources and the money to act. We cannot allow for business interests to put profits before the lives of people.

Endorsed by: ActionAid South Africa, African Civil Society Centre, Project 90 by 2030, Gender CC, Federation for a sustainable environment, Jukskei Catchment Management Agency Forum, 350Africa.org

Updates

2016-05-24 16:27:00 +0200

25 signatures reached

2016-05-21 13:27:46 +0200

10 signatures reached