August 21, 2022

2022 World Water Congress: nudging industry towards sustainable water management in supply chains

How to manage water across supply chains is a top-of-mind concern for companies attending the water sector’s highlight event of the year. Ramboll water expert, Søren Hvilshøj, explains how to tackle that challenge at the Industrial Water User’s forum.

The 2022 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen has a dedicated forum for water in industry. The forum aims improve relationships between industry leaders and the water sector to progress water stewardship and deliver on water-related sustainable development goals. “Large industries often don’t see themselves as part of the water conversation,” says Søren Hvilshøj, global division director for water resources at Ramboll. “We want to help push industry players past corporate social responsibility, as well as challenge and support businesses as thought leaders to move the sustainability dialogue forward.” Søren Hvilshøj will explain how industrial water users can get more involved in the conversation at the Industrial Water Users forum on 13 September.
There’s room for improvement
Nearly every manufactured product uses water in the production process. Water in industry is used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for manufacturing facility sanitation needs. There is huge potential to improve water quality and quantity in most industries. While agriculture accounts for 70% of water demand, industry accounts for nearly 20% of global freshwater use (the figure rises to 45% of all water demand for countries with advanced economies). The Forum will address water issues across different industry sectors, such as agriculture, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals. These discussions aim to help participants identify and rethink specific supply chain solutions or procedural water issues. “Few countries have enough water. Even in countries where there is enough water, there are still pressures on water quality, for example, from pesticides,” says Hvilshøj. “That’s why companies across all industries have a responsibility to take water challenges seriously, whether the issues stem from sources of water, water treatment, or water discharge.” While highly industrialised parts of the world have well-regulated water sectors, other parts have few or no water regulations. No matter where industry is located, this forum hopes to open the dialogue so all industry markets can participate.
Tailored tools and techniques for better water stewardship
Achieving a ‘close to zero’ water footprint is not easy, but whatever scenario a business is operating in, water can be treated, recycled, and reused. To be successful in water-related operations, businesses must make data-backed risk assessments. This includes risks related to water availability, quality, consumption, conservation, and discharge, but also floods from rivers or the sea. The Forum will showcase water management tools and applications that help foster water stewardship. Typically, these tools help users measure and manage a company’s water footprint across supply chains and production processes, as well as incentivise water sustainability efforts. Major food and beverage companies including Arla, Nestle, and Carlsberg will be attending the Congress and Forum. “Collaborating with companies to adjust their supply chains to ensure whole water cycles are sustainably handled helps make dramatic strides towards minimising water issues around the world,” says Hvilshøj.
Industrial Water Users Forum
Exchanging ideas and approaches for industries to mitigate and overcome water-related challenges in a sustainable manner. Core topics addressed at the forum include:
  • Water stewardship perspectives
  • Incentivising sustainability: From the Sustainable Development Goals to local regulation
  • Sustainable water tools and applications, including for water efficiency and water reuse
Join Søren Hvilshøj and other industry leaders at the Industrial Water Users forum on 13 September 2022, from 10:30-17:15.