Can top corporations develop needed water solutions?
Nearly 300 asset managers, water infrastructure and energy sector executives attended the event ‘Water: Emerging Risks and Opportunities' in New York to learn about opportunities for investing in water and the growing water demands of the United States’ booming unconventional energy sector. The event was sponsored by Goldman Sachs, GE and the World Resources Institute. On the other hand, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility convened a roundtable on the obligations of companies to respect the human right to water. Seventy religious investors, major water-intensive companies, and grassroots activists came together to tackle the question of what companies can and should do to ensure their operations “do no harm” to water supplies of local communities. Investors at the Goldman event very well may be driving the green technologies that can help the industrial companies at the ICCR session clean up their acts. But the problem for companies is that in most places, water is so cheap that investing in these solutions can sometimes be hard to justify on a traditional ROI basis, if not on a moral one.