Market research company Euromonitor International’s white paper “Sustainability and the New Normal for Natural Resources” has revealed that reliable access to natural resources is of critical importance to governments, businesses and consumers.
According to the whitepaper, in 2015, the World Economic Forum mentioned water crisis as the number one long-term global threat.
Still underestimated by many businesses, water risk is a very serious and complex issue which threatens wildlife, human access to clean water and continuation of business through shortage, flooding and pollution.
A well-managed water strategy, conversely, can help build a resilient and innovative business and a strong ethical brand image.
“Water stress and poor water stewardship can have a sizeable impact on profit and a huge impact on businesses’ reputation and operations.
The most obviously affected sector is the food and drinks industry, where water is a key input.
But many other sectors are also at risk, including apparel, energy and beauty and personal care,” says Sarah Boumphrey, Global Lead of Economies and Consumers at Euromonitor International.
The whitepaper also reveals that a large amount of packaged food companies’ growth is increasingly reliant on water-stressed regions with India having the largest area harvested for cereals in 2015.
It also mentioned that soft drinks and beer record the highest absolute volume of water consumption and are highly vulnerable to water risk.
The prediction is that by 2020, 50 per cent of the global laundry detergents market by volume will be accounted for, by water-stressed countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and the US.