• Nuno Moreira da Cruz

Integrating SDGS into business strategy-SDG #6 - Clean Water and Sanitation


As described in my blog entry February 3rd, I am referring, on a weekly basis, to each of the SDGs: facts, targets, and how could companies be engaged. This week is about SDG#6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

Facts: This is one of the SDGs, which facts have a clear, profound and immediate impact on any sensitive reader.

  • 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 6 in 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.

  • At least 892 million people continue to practice open defecation.

  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80 per cent of households without access to water on premises.

  • Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise.

  • 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines

  • More than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal

  • Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases

  • Approximately 70 per cent of all water abstracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation

  • Floods and other water-related disasters account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural disasters

The call for action is clear and the good thing is that anyone can start acting today!

Targets: There are 8 targets. Targets and the indicators to track progress can be found here https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/

Companies engagement:

This SDG has clear targets but targets impossible to be met without a solid and consistent business involvement. As per a recent Morgan Stanley study, companies more likely to help are “Water Utilities operating in countries with low access to drinking water services,and those focused on the collection and treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater in countries with low access to sanitation services. Testing companies providing water-quality analysis are well positioned to achieve this target. Technologies include precision instrumentation and advanced purification.

Capital Goods companies providing water efficiency solutions. Given that the agricultural sector is responsible for 70% of water abstractions globally (as per the UN), we identify companies providing micro-irrigation solutions, which are among the most water-efficient irrigation schemes”.