Water and Ecosystems

 

Water is a precious natural resource indispensable to human well-being, corporate activities, and the survival of all living things. Water use must not only have low environmental impact, but also contribute to biodiversity and a sustainable community. We believe this to be the basic stance for management of natural capital, which will steer us toward sustainable corporate management.

 

The long-term objective of the Water and Ecosystems Working Group is to have companies be “water neutral” and have a positive impact on ecosystems. To this end, we are engaged in developing policies and tools for maximum reduction and mitigation of environmental impact that comes from water use, using the river basin as the unit for water resources and aquatic environments related to business activities. Practical actions are also introduced to foster communication with stakeholders on the river basin level.

 

In 2013 we published the “Corporate Water Management Guide to Conserve Biodiversity,” which summed up our thoughts for a company water management model. It is not enough for companies to just simply comply with legislation concerning water management. This guidebook takes them one step further in water resources and aquatic environment management by showing them how to take the initiative here. It is broadly referenced by Japanese companies in their environmental activities.

 

Along with such efforts we are also developing a water management toolkit to enable companies to engage in water resource and aquatic environment conservation both within Japan and abroad through their operation sites. For example, a tool to calculate and map water footprint inventories through the lifecycle of products and services, can help companies reduce their water footprint, including that of their global suppliers. We are also working on the development of a tool to check the impact of water intake and discharge on the aquatic environment and ecosystems of the river basin by visualizing the relationship between a business site and the river basin.

 

By providing companies in various sectors with water management initiatives and the tools to support such efforts, our prime goal is to have companies work collectively on multiple levels for the integrated management of water resources and the aquatic environment. Japan is an island country sustained by abundant water linking the forests to the ocean. As the companies of Japan that have reaped the benefits of this water, we believe we have the experience necessary to convey initiatives for the conservation of water and biodiversity.