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Companies agree to step up action to address growing pressures on UK water

last modified Jun 05, 2018 10:57 AM
29 May 2018 – Over 60 organisations including businesses such as M&S, Nestlé, Coca Cola and Asda as well as number of water companies including Anglian Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water, have agreed to step up action to address the increasing pressures to UK water through improved catchment management.

The declaration, created by a cross sector of companies with support of CISL, The Rivers Trust and Business in the Community was launched at a Water Summit attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who presented a speech at the event.

The initiative, recognises the importance of collaboration across the public-private boundary and supports the delivery of government’s 25 year Environment Plan which calls for a step change in how water catchment areas are managed. It demonstrates the widespread public and private sector support for solutions that can protect drinking water quality, reduce flood risk, and support the health of UK rivers.

Gemma Cranston, CISL’s Programme Director for Natural Capital said: “Managing our water resources effectively requires a collaborative approach in order to deliver real benefits for the environment, economy and local communities. This is recognised by the many organisations that have signed the Catchment Management Declaration today.”

Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water said “It is vital that we understand the availability of water for all of us to use is impacted by the quality of the water in our landscape. Continuing to manage the demand and impacts on water in the future, while balancing the needs of the environment, will only be possible by working collaboratively across our water catchments. That way we can make sure that there is enough water of the right quality for all our needs.”

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management for Yorkshire Water said: “Over the last decade and more, we have learnt that by working across the whole catchment in a holistic, integrated way we can deliver benefits for society that go beyond the management of water.”

Richard Aylard CVO, External Affairs & Sustainability Director at Thames Water said:  "Catchment management can - and must - now play a greater role, including in urban areas, where it can create much-needed green spaces for people to enjoy, as well as managing pressures on the environment we rely on."

Michel Beneventi, Managing Director, Nestlé Waters UK said: "I am very proud that Nestlé Waters is a signatory to this declaration, publicly stating our commitment to collaborate in this shared approach. We are very clear on our responsibility and we have to work better together in our local communities, to scale up our efforts, if we are going to make a real difference for the future sustainability of water."

Effective catchment management has the potential to harness natural processes to support a healthier environment and manage modern challenges such as rapid population growth and climate change; the biggest threats to our water system according to a recent study from the Environment Agency.

The Summit, which took place at the The Manor House Hotel, Moreton in Marsh, brought together experts and thought leaders from business, agriculture, regulation, academia, government, the public sector and civil society to explore innovative ways to address the challenges of catchment management. It showcased the latest best practise examples of catchment partnerships and water management from around the country.


The speech presented by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at the Water Summit:

www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speech/speech-hrh-prince-wales-cambridge-institute-sustainability-leaderships-water-summit

About the Catchment Management Declaration

Anglian, Thames, Yorkshire, Greater London Authority , Nestle, M&S, River Trust, Business in the Community and CISL came together to create this declaration to gather commitment and action for a multisector approach to catchment management. For further information visit https://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/water

About the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

CISL is a globally influential institute within in the University of Cambridge, working with leaders to build a sustainable economy. Through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, we believe the economy can be ‘rewired’ to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment – in short to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, please visit www.cisl.cam.ac.uk and follow us on Twitter @cisl_cambridge

Anglian Water

As the company charged with supplying drinking water to the driest part of the UK, Anglian Water understands the value in every drop. We also know that if we are to make the most of this most precious resource others need to value it too.

Love Every Drop is a movement to put water at the heart of a whole new way of living. We have committed to stopping pollution, cutting carbon, and eliminating waste. We want to lead the way in raising awareness of the value of water, reducing the amount we all use and helping our region to become the most water- efficient in the UK. It working too, despite our population having grown by a third in the last thirty years, today we still only have to put the same amount of water into supply as we did in 1990.

In 2015, Anglian Water was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development, and in 2017 Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year award.

Thames Water

Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider, covering the urban landscape of our capital city through to the rural reaches of the Cotswolds. We supply almost one third of the 9 billion litres of water used by people and businesses in the UK each and every day, while removing and treating over four billion litres of sewage for 15 million customers.

Delivering excellent services to these customers is at the heart of our company’s culture. We are committed to protecting and enhancing the natural environment we rely on to deliver these services, acting as a socially responsible and sustainable business, now and in the future.

Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water provides some of life’s most essential services to the 5 million people and 140,000 businesses in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. The Company plays a key role in the region’s health, wellbeing and prosperity by supplying water and waste water services, and being custodians of essential infrastructure and the natural environment. This is all done for just over £1 a day for the average customer, amongst the lowest water and waste water bills in the country.

Yorkshire Water is leading the practical application of a range of catchment management programmes across its 28,000 hectare estate and by working in partnership with other land owners and managers. By working differently and in partnership, Yorkshire Water has a track record of delivering exciting and impactful programmes that are protecting and restoring many parts of Yorkshire’s iconic landscape. For example, the Beyond Nature programme to introduce more sustainable farm tenancies and its work to plant 1 million trees as part of the Northern Forest which has already started in the Calder Valley.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community, part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is a business-led membership organisation made up of progressive businesses of all sizes who understand that the prosperity of business and society are mutually dependent. We exist to build healthy communities with successful businesses at their heart.

We use our Responsible Business Map to guide members on a journey of continuous improvement, working across the whole responsible business agenda. From community engagement to employment, diversity and the circular economy, we offer expert advice and specialist resources, driving best practice by convening, sharing learning and recognising great performance across our influential network.
www.bitc.org.uk

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Gemma Cranston

Dr Gemma Cranston, Director, Natural Capital

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