Why businesses are leapfrogging governments on water issues
Water is an incredibly personal topic, integral to the lives and traditions of communities everywhere. That means companies must be very careful about how they use water resources, even those to which they are legally entitled, says Shari Friedman, Eurasia Group's Managing Director for Climate and Sustainability.
"If they're taking it away or they're polluting a source, it's something that's incredibly visible, as people use it," she said. "And it's something the press can pick up on pretty quickly, and it affects a company's license to operate."
That reputational risk has led some companies to start proactively rolling out plans to manage water use and keep sources clean and sustainable even in the absence of government regulations. But the government still has a role to play, said Friedman, pointing to emerging regulations around so-called "forever chemicals" and the European Union's attempt to improve river health by 2027.
She spoke at a GZERO Live event organized by the Sustainability Leaders Council, a partnership between Eurasia Group, GZERO Media, and Suntory.