Washington DC, July, 2020 – Unilever has joined the 2030 Water Resources Group, a multi-donor trust fund hosted by the World Bank Group, to support 2030 WRG activities globally and in its country programs. The collaboration will focus on strengthening multi-stakeholder collaboration between public, private, and civil society actors on sustainable water resources management.
By 2030, demand for water is expected to exceed freshwater supply by 40%. Due to a lack of adequate infrastructure 1 in 3 people lack safe drinking water, while over half of the global population lack safe sanitation, and 80% of the world’s wastewater is not treated. Handwashing is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but nearly 40% percent of the world’s population—lack basic handwashing facilities. Leadership and strong partnerships are needed for long term social and economic recovery that focus on sustainable water resources management.
Tackling the water scarcity challenge, that is exacerbated by climate change, requires collective action. Unilever sees long-term growth concurrently with reducing the company’s environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.
Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, will join 2030 WRG corporate, public, and civil society partners at the Global Governing Council and Steering Board levels. The company can also directly interact with any of the active multi-stakeholder platforms in 14 countries/states where the trust fund is currently present.
“We all know water is critical for lives and livelihoods; yet we are wasting it, polluting it, and taking it for granted. We need collective action to solve a water crisis that is wreaking havoc in villages, towns and cities across our planet. Unilever is stepping up its action on water and we look forward to working with the 2030 Water Resources Group for bigger, broader impact.” said Alan.
“The 2030 Water Resources Group is committed to facilitating public-private collaboration to drive resilient economies and societies. We have an opportunity to be part of the current regenerative business movement that has a focus on systems thinking to protect, restore and replenish both human capital and natural resources. It is now more critical than ever for stakeholders to join forces to advance water security outcomes. We are delighted to welcome Unilever as a global 2030 WRG partner, with its core commitment to the principles of water sustainability, equitable access and livelihood security,” said World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development, and 2030 WRG Governing Council Co-Chair Juergen Voegele.
“In the context of growing uncertainties in the world economy and escalating resource constraints, the private sector has a unique role to play in catalyzing innovation, facilitating sustainable delivery models, and serving as an agent of systemic change. Together with the public sector and civil society, companies can drive transformative leadership in the way water resources are managed. Unilever’s commitment to join 2030 Water Resources Group builds on its legacy of accelerating environmental and social sustainability across its value chains and consumer base. We very much look forward to Unilever’s engagement in 2030 Water Resources Group to provide a joint impetus to the global resilience and water security agenda,” said Nestlé Chairman of the Board and Co-Chair of the 2030 WRG Governing Council Paul Bulcke.
Unilever has recently already been collaborating with 2030 WRG in Bangladesh, with the help of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Deputy Commissioner’s offices in 64 districts, supplying drinking water to all hospitals designated for COVID-19 in Dhaka, and conducting a nationwide WASH public education campaign to reach 20 million people.
About the 2030 Water Resources Group
2030 WRG is a public, private, civil society partnership that supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources. The trust fund engages stakeholder groups through structured, action-oriented platforms in-country, which have already mobilized close to $1 billion since inception in water security responses. See more: www.2030wrg.org www.twitter.com/2030WRG #2030WRG
Read Unilever’s commitment to sustainable development
Unilever sets out new actions to fight climate change, and protect and regenerate nature, to preserve resources for future generations
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Alida Pham, 2030 Water Resources Group
External Relations Officer