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Global Water Crisis: Business Solutions at the BSR Conference

Submitted by: BSR

Categories: Events, Sustainability

Posted: Sep 23, 2008 – 11:59 PM EST


Register by Oct. 1 and Save Up to $350

Sep. 23 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO - Sept. 24, 2008 - Water issues rank as some of the world's most pressing problems, and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) will examine how the private sector can provide solutions at the BSR Conference, "Sustainability: Leadership Required," Nov. 4 - 7 at New York's Grand Hyatt.

Today's water crisis is flooding every corner of the globe: About 16 percent of the world's population lacks access to safe water, and 700 million people live in areas that are under severe water stress. Every single industry, from agriculture to software, relies on water - which means that the global water crisis threatens their license to do business.

"But the glass is really half full," said Linda Hwang, BSR's resident water expert and Manager, Environmental Research & Development. "The private sector has an opportunity to be part of the solution, and the BSR Conference will connect business leaders with experts on the newest developments in how corporations can protect this precious resource. Water truly is the new gold."

The following Conference sessions highlight corporate water issues and solutions:

Water Neutrality: Contradiction in Terms?


Arjen Hoekstra, Professor, Multidisciplinary Water Management, University of Twente

  • Jonathan Kaledin, Director, Blue Water Certification Program, The Nature Conservancy
  • Peter McCornick, Director of Water Policy, Nicholas Institute
  • Linda Hwang, BSR's Manager, Environmental Research & Development (moderator)

Time: 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5

The rise of water scarcity has focused global attention on water usage. As companies develop water strategies, difficult questions arise. What is considered reasonable when it comes to reducing an operation's water footprint? Can a company truly go water neutral? What counts as an offset - projects, payments or both? How is an economic value to water and access assigned? How do spatial constraints add complexity to the issue? Hear from leading experts in water resources worldwide, and discuss some of the answers to these tough questions.

Community-Based Environmental Activism in China: Tackling Water Issues with Success


  • Daniela Salaverry, Co-Director, China Program, Pacific Environment
  • Terry Foecke, Managing Partner, Materials Productivity LLC

Time: 10:30 a.m. - Noon, Friday, Nov. 7

China suffers from significant pollution, and both water availability and quality are considered growth constraints. In other regions of the world facing similar challenges, environmentalism has grown from grassroots movements to tackle problems that governments have not addressed. Will this occur in China? In the last few years, the Chinese government has permitted the growth of "green" NGOs. Will these organizations be able to gain enough traction to improve the country's water-quality issues in time to save the river ecosystems? Hear from grassroots organizers and environmental experts on China about what is developing there, and why it matters to every company sourcing from China.

For more information about the BSR Conference, which features 35 breakout sessions and six plenary addresses - given by innovators in responsible business like Jeffrey Immelt of GE, SK Telecom President and CEO Shin-Bae Kim, and International Confederation of Free Trade Unions President Sharan Burrow - visit To receive up to $350 off, register for the BSR Conference by Oct. 1.

About BSR

Since 1992, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has been providing socially responsible business solutions to many of the world's leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New York and Paris, BSR is a nonprofit business association that serves its 250 member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, convenings and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:

Eva Dienel Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: 415-984-3233


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