“Beyond the Fenceline” describes new way for business to think about water
Geneva, 4 September 2007: Companies around the world have been working for decades to manage their own water use and wastewater discharge. Now, as freshwater becomes increasingly scarce, and amid mounting competition between communities, industries, agriculture and ecosystems for finite resources, there is growing awareness that “to manage water globally, you need to know the water situation locally” and that successful management of such challenges will best be achieved through collaboration. Progressive businesses are beginning to work with communities and other stakeholders to create innovative and mutually beneficial water management partnerships.
In August, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development organized a session on “Business Working on Water – Beyond the Fenceline” which it co-convened with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Economic Forum (WEF). During this lively session participants debated the wider impacts of water use on all stakeholders.
Is there really a “fenceline” around a company or is it just an imaginary concept? How do you get past it and work with others? These questions are increasingly being asked among concerned stakeholders as demonstrated by the 100 people, mainly from business and NGOs, who attended this session in Stockholm.
Jan Dell, CH2M HILL, explained what was meant by “inside” and “outside” the fenceline (see diagram). Inside the fenceline, business needs water for operations. Beyond the fenceline, water is needed for a healthy community and workforce. Going further (“beyond the horizon”) is the water needed for healthy and strong global consumer markets. In all cases, to work beyond the fenceline means engaging with others. For the complete story about this event, please click here.
Posted September 2007