Global Water Intelligence Summit, London 2024

22 May 2024 | News & Announcements

Lydia Whyatt led a panel of leading corporate water strategists at the 2024 GWI Summit in London. The discussion focused on actions taken by large corporations and their progress in delivering 2050 sustainability targets.

The panel included: Cecilia Coates, Climate and Water Lead, Colgate-Palmolive, Oriol Margo, EMEA Sustainability Transformation Leader, Kimberly Clark, Abigail McGuckin, Water Impact, GSK, Lewys Isaac, Water Stewardship Manager, Primark, Karen Kennedy, Sustainability Manager, PepsiCo. Each water specialist gave their perspective on current water risk impacts at the site level and beyond, target-setting methodologies and the role of regulation in achieving the required impact.

There was a strong consensus that clean water quality standards are pushing corporations to invest in re-use. This is especially true in the US and Europe where incoming regulation on issues such as PFAS will require more action. Regulatory actions have been reinforced by voluntary disclosure schemes such as CRSD, CDP (water-specific report), and TNFD. Corporates are subscribing to these to remain accountable, ramp up pressure on their internal teams to achieve climate metric targets, and retain their brand reputation.

The limiting factors for improved resource management are available data and supply chain traceability. Receiving local data for use at specific sites is essential for delivering on the overarching company ambition and creating societal and environmental impact on the ground. Implementing AI and science-based approaches will accelerate progress on this; GSK are at the forefront of this movement confirming that AI and data-driven approaches enhance their ‘see, think, do’ framework for approaching the water.

Key takeaways from the event included the need for embedding water security in the overall business model, targeting segments of the value chain to improve delivery on resource stewardship, and cultivating awareness of regulation’s moving ‘goal posts’ to future-proof operations.

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