CERES launches Valuing Water Finance Initiative

By Tobias Schmitz

7 Sep 2022 by The Water Diplomat

On the 16th of August, CERES launched an investor driven initiative to act on water as a financial risk. Known as the e Valuing Water Finance Initiative, the drive for sustainable investments in the water sector brings together 64 international investors and pension funds with a joint investment portfolio of $ 9.8 trillion.  The initiative aims to engage 72 of the world’s biggest corporate water users and polluters to value and act on water as a financial risk. CERES offers guidelines to investors and corporate water users to improve the protection of water resources. It sets out a list of six actionable areas where corporate entities could have a positive impact on water resources. Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation. They embody a list of six expectations that the corporations are expected to adhere to in their investment choices. These include a commitment not to negatively impact on water quality in their value chain, not to impact negatively on water availability, not to impact negatively on water related ecosystems, support community access to drinking water and sanitation, an invitation to include water issues in corporate oversight processes, and to align their public engagement activities such as lobbying to sustainable water resources management outcomes.

CERES is a non-profit organisation which aims to support the transition to a just and sustainable future by working with capital market leaders and through investor collaboration initiatives to make a financial business case for sustainability. For the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, it has created a Task Force to help drive corporate action and spearhead corporate engagement on water. The CERES actions are in partnership with the Valuing Water Initiative of the government of the Netherlands which were launched at the World Economic Forum by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2019. The Valuing Water Initiative in turn in turn in based on the United Nations Valuing Water Principles.