Thursday, July 22, 2010

Invest in water, be showered with returns

How could one measure the benefits of investing in water? The Creating Shared Value (CSV) Forum held last April encouraged businesses to see water as a business investment that has the potential for a high rate of return.

Economic benefits of investing in water can be measured in terms of “time savings” according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. The two types are: 1) Gains from lower morbidity and fewer deaths; and 2) Gains from spending less time and energy to fetch water. With access to water for drinking and hygiene, a population is able to improve its lifestyle, allowing for educational and economic growth.

Coffee farmers in the Philippines receive free training from Nestle in methods that improve the quantity and quality of their coffee beans in the most environment friendly and sustainable way. From constructing catch basins that collect and store rainfall and using them to raise fish to planting cash crops for further income, this program has given coffee-growing farmers a chance to improve their lifestyles as well as make use of the limited water resource in an efficient, safe and sustainable way.

Nestlé Philippines in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Social Responsibility organized the Philippine CSV Forum to encourage corporations, government and other society stakeholders to embrace Creating Shared Value as a catalyst for social progress.