On the 17th October, WssTP was represented at the 3rd edition of the Financial Time Water Summit by Geoff Townsend, Cluster Leader of the “Water Smart Industry” theme during the roundtable session on “new competitive edge: creating shared value through collective action”.
In association with WWF, the conference focused on businesses, investment opportunities, bankable water projects and other innovative financial solutions from a corporate perspective. It was a great occasion for participants to interact and debate with Executives from Heineken company, CDP, Nestle Water, MARS, WWF, Mondi South Africa and many other representatives from big organisations.
Geoff Townsend took part in the Watershed Moments session, hosting the roundtable session on “new competitive edge: creating shared value through collective action” that addressed how tackling larger-scale shared water challenges can benefit both businesses and the communities they operate in and how companies can work together and with government bodies to improve water availability.
With main traversing message of the session that “Water is a common shared value and needs collective actions”, Geoff raised key questions on how stakeholders can actually get engaged in collective actions that generate value for all and how making a societal improvement can generate profits for organisations.
Regarding companies operating in emerging markets suffering from poverty and endemic societal issues, Geoff particularly stressed out that ’It is vital to help them by demonstrating the value they can generate in a collective open transparent way, not only by making money and being prosperous in their location but by actually doing much greater good for that whole area. The way companies communicate that is a big challenge and the way they connect their brand and reputations is absolutely crucial to operate in these locations.’
David Martin from Nalco and Ecolab company who also attended the FT Water Summit pointed it out the importance of gathering all the stakeholders, such as WssTP, around the table to resolve water issues.“The core of WssTP lies in water and innovation, and sometimes we think of innovation as being technical or technologies issues. The event today was really around financial innovation in addressing the water challenges and I thought that the Geoff’s intervention and the collaboration between companies, research centers and association, such as WssTP and the financial community is the way to find the solution.”
For more information on the FT Live events, please click here.