Industry has still not grasped water quality-related risks

3 November 2013

Screen shot 2011-08-07 at 13.31.17530 investors, whose combined investments total $57 trillion, approached Deloitte to produce a “water risk” report based on data provided by 180 companies listed on the FTSE Global 500 Equity Index. The Deloitte report , which slams these large firms for misguided water risk management, is summarised by Environmental Leader (31 Oct 2013):

Low levels of strategic planning or corporate ambition on key water stewardship metrics raises risk levels, the report says. Despite increasing recognition that water risks cannot be tackled in isolation, just 6 percent of companies have targets or goals for community engagement, 4 percent for their supply chains, 3 percent for water management and 1 percent for transparency. Not a single company reports a public policy target and 15 percent of companies fail to meet water discharge regulations.”

Associated with this overall low level of realisation is the apparent willingness of some South African industries, major energy suppliers amongst them, to take on ‘specialist advice’ from a range of charlatans who may sell a good story but simply don’t have the credentials or experience to back it up.  In effect, many of these ‘experts’ run an experiment which may or may not produce a result somehow linked to what the client expected.

Caveat emptor – but it is relatively easy to ask for credentials and proof of ability (unless you only accept the lowest quote).

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