International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

Side event: The UN Global Compact: CEO Water Mandate and the Water Action Hub

Date: 8 January 2013
Time: 7:15 pm
Venue: Ebro River Basin Authority
Convener: CEO Water Mandate

>> Video recording of session

The CEO Water Mandate recognizes that water and sanitation management are vital in both developing and developed economies. Certain areas of the world are experiencing, or are expected to experience, acute water stress. Business organizations have an important stake in helping to address the water challenge faced by the world today. It is increasingly clear that lack of access to clean water and sanitation in many parts of the world causes great suffering in humanitarian, social, environmental and economic terms, and seriously undermines development goals.

The CEO Water Mandate seeks to make a positive impact with respect to the emerging global water crisis by mobilizing a critical mass of business leaders to advance water sustainability solutions – in partnership with the United Nations, civil society organizations, governments, and other stakeholders. The CEO Water Mandate seeks to build an international movement of committed companies, both leaders and learners. In this spirit, the initiative is open to companies of all sizes and from all sectors, and from all parts of the world. As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate offers a unique action platform to share best and emerging practices and to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships to address the problems of access to water and sanitation.

The CEO Water Mandate invites business leaders to endorse its vision and objectives, and to adopt its strategic framework. The Mandate is voluntary and aspirational. Nonetheless it represents a commitment to action. Its structure covers six key areas and is designed to assist companies in developing a comprehensive approach to water management. The six areas are:

  • Direct Operations
  • Supply Chain and Watershed Management
  • Collective Action
  • Public Policy
  • Community Engagement
  • Transparency.

The initiative requires the endorsement of a company’s Chief Executive Officer, or equivalent. Endorsers of the Mandate recognize that through individual and collective action they can contribute to the vision of the UN Global Compact and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals. Participation in the CEO Water Mandate is restricted to existing corporate endorsers of the UN Global Compact. However, companies that are not currently signatories of the UN Global Compact may endorse the Mandate provided they intend to join the UNGC within six months of endorsing the Mandate.

One key intiative of the Mandate is the Water Action Hub, which businesses do not have to be a Mandate endorser to utilize.The Hub is an enabling platform designed to promote collaboration among business and other stakeholders. It helps organizations efficiently identify potential collaborators and engage with them in water-related collective action to improve water management in river basins of critical strategic interest.

The side event will included an introduction to the CEO Water Mandate and a live demonstration of the Water Action Hub’s core features by Jason Morrison, Technical Director of the CEO Water Mandate. There were opportunities for discussion with business on how to formally join the CEO Water Mandate and/or participate in the Water Action Hub, and with UN-Water members on how the platform can support UN-Water’s (and its members’) key objectives in 2013 and beyond.