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Why water is rising up the global agenda

How we’re turning the tide to create a water positive future.

21 Mar 20233 minute read

Taking action on water

This week, we’re on the ground at the UN Water Conference in New York participating in discussions on how to scale actions towards reaching global water targets and the role our business and sector has in driving change. The conference marks an important milestone to turn the tide in the world’s favour on securing a water positive future.

Launching the Water Resilience Coalition and the WaterEquity Global Access Fund IV

Despite water being essential to life and to our health, one quarter of all people worldwide don’t have access to improved water and sanitation.​ To help with this, we are investing £2 million in the WaterEquity Fund IV, supported by Water Resilience Coalition Investment Portfolio. This investment is set to impact the lives of five million people in countries in South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America with access to clean and safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Why do we care about water?

Water is critical to our Purpose and our Sustainability Ambitions because water is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of our products, and our consumers often need water to use them.

What are we doing to drive action on water?

To achieve our targets and to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, providing universal access to water and sanitation for all by 2030, we’re looking at our impact across our whole water footprint – operations, products and communities. Here’s some of the action we’re taking:

Operations: We’re aiming to reduce our water footprint everywhere by recycling water in our factories. Our Hosur factory in India is now water neutral through actions we have taken to reduce our water use, develop water harvesting and strengthen water security in the local catchment.

We continue to assess the water footprint of each new product during its development using our Sustainable Innovation Calculator (SIC) to make sure we’re minimising our water use as much as possible.

Products: 94% of our water use happens when consumers buy our products and use them at home. We use our purpose-led brands to influence behaviour change and educate consumers on how to use our products while using less water.

For example, the Finish #SkiptheRinse campaign encourages consumers to stop pre-rinsing dishes, which can use up to 57 litres of water per load.

Communities: We’re also investing in water access for local communities, covering clean and safe water as well as sanitation and hygiene, to help communities live a cleaner, healthier life. Through our partnership with Water.org, we’ve helped 1.4 million people gain improved access to water and sanitation.

Our partnership with WWF is helping to protect and restore over 2,000km of river nature for future generations and the habitats that rely on the rivers for survival.

To reduce the impact of climate change on health, and the healthcare systems we all rely on, the world needs partnership between the private and public sectors. We look forward to working together with NGOs, private and public sector actors at the UN Water Conference this week to explore this topic further and drive towards actions that can unlock progress for all.

Image credit: Water.org