Deloitte Offers Pro Bono Services

Michelle Remo, “Big 4″ observer
September 30, 2011 /

Deloitte will be providing pro bono services to develop a public online tool that would allow companies to more easily identify and collaborate with businesses, relevant governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and communities to advance sustainable water management on a location-specific basis.

Deloitte is collaborating with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the Pacific Institute and the German International Development Agency (GIZ) for the development of the CEO Water Mandate (which is part of the United Nations Global Compact) Water Action Hub.

Deloitte’s contribution to IBLF, valued at up to $500,000, will allow organizations to access a publicly available online water-focused capacity building platform that can serve as a clearinghouse for emerging corporate water accounting methods, tools, and stewardship practices.

“This is a very exciting and much needed effort. Although water is a global issue, the solutions are translated to the watershed level,” said Will Sarni, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, enterprise water strategy practice leader and author of the recently published “Corporate Water Strategies.”

“As a result, cooperation among stakeholders within a watershed is essential in building a successful water stewardship strategy. We are gratified to make this important contribution of skills and knowledge to the Hub, a key enabler for companies managing the complexities of a global water strategy and driver for real, meaningful and measurable water stewardship results,” Sarni continued.

The Hub will feature a mapping function that visually places each facility and/or organizations within watershed maps to help organizations better understand stakeholders and initiatives in their watersheds of interest. Watershed allow companies to build upon their use of other online analytical mapping and water risk characterization tools such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD’s) Global Water Tool and the World Resource Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct project.

“We are fortunate to have a terrific set of knowledgeable, committed, passionate partners and stakeholders whose guidance, assistance and support will be invaluable in the long-term sustained success of this important initiative,” added Derrick Sturisky, senior manager, governance, regulatory and risk strategies, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

“The past five years have seen significant discussion and tool development relating to the water impacts, risks, and stewardship practices of business in an increasingly water-constrained world,” said Stephen Kenzie, senior programme manager, International Business Leaders Forum.

“Now, companies are ever more interested in practical ‘in-the-watershed’ solutions to help reduce the water risks their operations and supply chains are facing. The Hub will drive larger, more effective alliances, with pooled resources, focusing efforts in shared ‘hotspot’ watersheds, rather than the current, more piecemeal approach to water stewardship,” Kenzie added.

“Increased pressure on water resources in many parts of the world has led to business risk. Consequently, a slew of tools have emerged for business, most of which tend to focus on helping corporations identify the location and nature of their water risk. The Water Action Hub is distinct in that it will provide a highly adaptive platform that will allow companies to work with other stakeholders via on-the-ground partnerships to respond to identified risks,” said Jason Morrison, program director at the Pacific Institute and technical director of the UN CEO Water Mandate.

“Through our experience working with companies to assess and mitigate shared water risks, we have learned a fundamental lesson: companies, acting alone or in small bi-lateral partnerships, are very unlikely to be able to significantly address the water challenges facing their operations, supply chains, and the surrounding communities,” said Robin Farrington, senior policy advisor, International Water Policy and Infrastructure, GIZ.

“Most water risks will only be addressed through sustained collective action between public, private, NGO and donor actors, in a way that compliments existing long-term efforts and public policy. The Hub will be a useful tool in helping actors understand who is working in the same watershed, playing an important role in initiating new partnerships which, if managed well, will hopefully lead to long-term public-private collective action.”


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