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We need to embrace bigger, bolder solutions to achieve water for all

Sponsored: Philanthropy alone will not solve the water crisis. We need bigger, bolder solutions to address a problem of this magnitude.


Water scarcity is a humanitarian crisis that presents extraordinary risks to global communities. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article is sponsored by Ecolab.

In 2020, Ecolab co-founded the Water Resilience Coalition. The coalition is a CEO-led movement to address the global water challenge collectively through ambitious, accelerated actions.

One of its core commitments is to deliver a net positive water impact in high-risk water basins, to help more than 3 billion people in water-stressed regions of the world.

The coalition’s 2030 goals include:

  • Expanding to 150 companies from 30 today
  • Prioritizing 100 of the world’s high-risk water basins  
  • Working collectively to pursue interventions around drinking water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) that will affect 300 million people

Water scarcity is both an economic and humanitarian crisis that presents extraordinary risks to global supply chains, corporate profits and the well-being of communities and populations around the world. Addressing these challenges will not be easy. It will take innovation, collaboration and investment capital to solve the escalating crisis.

Philanthropy is not enough

Over the years, we’ve relied on philanthropy to fund projects to address freshwater availability, accessibility and quality. But faced with the enormity of the problem, a growing cohort of corporations has come to realize that philanthropy alone will not enable us to reach our goals. To do so, we need to maximize our collective impact and embrace a bolder, more purposeful approach.

So, how do we get there? 

One way is by investing in water equity impact funds. Like traditional investment funds, water equity funds enable companies to invest capital and earn interest income. But unlike traditional funds, water equity funds support a great cause: microfinancing of water-related projects for vulnerable communities. Plus, they amplify collective impact in a way that philanthropy alone cannot.

Water equity funds also help make the business case for sustainability by enabling companies to obtain a return on their investments while supporting projects that deliver access to clean water and sanitation for all.

Interested in learning more? Join us at GreenFin 22 at 9 a.m. June 29 for the session "Water: A Rising Tide on the Corporate Agenda" and learn about the increased role corporate water investments have in driving meaningful collective action toward a water positive future. 

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