Coca-Cola Partners With CERB to Initiate a Dialogue on Corporate Water Policy

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Coca-Cola Pakistan has partnered with Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB) to lead a dialogue on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal # 6 (SDG 6) – Clean Water & Sanitation, with focus on water efficiency – internal and external – as an integral part of corporate water policy. Pakistan is the third most affected country in the world by an acute water shortage, as ranked in an IMF study, and urgent measures are needed to mitigate the impending crisis of Pakistan having no water by year 2025, according to another study. The said dialogue was held in the form of a workshop with more than 30 participants from diverse backgrounds, representing academia, media, industry, corporate sector and the non-profit sector. The purpose of the interactive workshop was to draw attention to the need for everyone to work towards meeting SDG 6 targets, and help companies from various sectors identify the water risks in their supply chain, and to design and update their corporate water strategy.

The workshop started off with participants understanding their personal and industrial water footprint and calculating the overall virtual water footprint.

Guest of Honor Dr. Ahsan Siddiqui, Water Scientist & Chief Convener Water Commission and Chief Guest Dr. Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, Secretary Environment Climate Change & Coastal Development Department, Government of Sindh also shared their thoughts on the urgency of water conservation through a sustained approach across all sectors. Later, there was discussion around water accountability, setting and developing water reduction targets, and committing to SDG 6.

The Coca-Cola Company believes that the availability of freshwater is a defining issue of our times—one that poses risks to a company’s license to operate, while it also offers opportunities to make a positive impact on lives and livelihoods around the globe. Speaking about the workshop, Rizwan Khan, General Manager Coca-Cola Pakistan & Afghanistan highlighted, “Such workshops will serve the aim of helping our industry and partners figure out the areas of excessive water usage within our respective supply chains, with a long-term strategy to conserve it. Although our region is Water Positive within the Coca-Cola System by replenishing 2.75 billion liters back to the communities through 10+ projects since 2017, but a lot more needs to be done to protect our environment.”

According to a 2017 research study by PBC, 65 percent of their member companies have a corporate water policy in place; however majority of them lack a sustainable methodology in practice. “The workshop succeeded in creating more awareness around water stewardship and encouraging people to actively play their part in using water more sustainably whilst also encouraging the private sector commitment to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, commented Mr. Ehsan Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council.

The Coca-Cola Company maintains a vast Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio, focusing mainly on four areas; Women, World Without Waste, Well-being and Water. In 2007 The Coca-Cola Company announced its Water Replenishment Goal which focuses on being water neutral by the year 2020. Pakistan remains one of the 61 countries where water stewardship projects have been initiated.