Climate change

How business is marking a critical World Water Day

  • 22 March 2018
ICC celebrates World Water Day 2018

As the United Nations’ (UN) “Decade of Action” for water begins this year, the role of business in the responsible stewardship of our most vital natural resource is most important than ever. Read our statement on water and business.

Taking place each year on 22 March, World Water Day is a unique opportunity for the international community to focus on the vital importance of water and to commit to taking collective action to ensure its conservation for future generations.

2018 marks an especially important World Water Day. Part of this is due to the mounting threat of water scarcity in the context of global population increases and climate change. According to the UN’s 2018 World Water Development Report, “an estimated 3.6 billion people live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year, and this population could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion by 2050.” The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development projects that water demand will increase 55% by 2050.


This year also marks the start of the “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development”—a UN-led campaign to advance cooperation and partnerships for the sustainable management of water resources stretching from 2018-2028.

Business needed more than ever

For the private sector, engaging in sustainable water stewardship is both vital to continuing business operations and integral to responsible business conduct. Every business depends on and impacts water resources.

Justin Perrettson, Chair of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy and Head of Global Engagements at Novozymes, said:

“As global population increases, water challenges such as wastewater treatment mean business’ ability to both innovate and help deploy new technologies is needed now more than ever.”

ICC, as the world business organization and the only private sector Observer to the UN General Assembly, works to promote sustainable economic growth and responsible business conduct, including maximising resource efficiency. To mark World Water Day, ICC’s Commission on Environment and Energy has released a statement on Water and business, explaining why water stewardship matters to business, what companies are already doing and how public and private actors can collaborate further.

John Danilovich, ICC Secretary General, said:

“Businesses are already innovating to develop the technological, organisational and financial solutions needed to achieve resource efficiency. To scale up these solutions, though, we need enhanced collaboration between businesses and, just as importantly, between the public and private sectors.”


Read more about ICC’s energy and environment work on our website.