Oct 2, 2009, 6:01 AM
Standard Chartered is committed to reducing its water footprint by two thirds over the next ten years in recognition of the growing concerns about water scarcity in many of the bank's markets
Today, the Bank will celebrate World Water Day by organising a series of internal communications on tips for water preservation to our staff, a quiz to raise the awareness of our colleagues and customers on global water issues on Friday March 26th 2010, and a talk on the importance of water at the St Joseph's Senior Secondary School on Monday March 29th 2010, which will contribute to achieving these targets and raise awareness of water.
World Water Day is an annual event coordinated by UN-Water, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of water as a resource, and of water issues such as poor management, availability and quality.
This year's theme for World Water Day is" Clean water for a healthy world?, which reflects the importance of water quality alongside quantity and availability.
"Water sustains all life on earth, and as such the quality of life is directly dependent on the quality of water. Poor water quality can negatively affect the well-being of human and animal life, and of the environment."
For Standard Chartered, World Water Day 2010 represents the beginning of a new drive to reduce the direct impact of the bank's operations on the environment.
Commenting on the theme CEO Humphrey Mukwereza, said freshwater is a limited resource and access to it represents one of the greatest environmental and social challenges facing the world today.
"Population growth, pollution, urbanisation and climate change are the main factors which exacerbate the problem. The issue is particularly heightened in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where an estimated 2.8 billion people will be subject to severe water scarcity by 2025."
"Our key markets are already facing water challenges, such as desertification, depletion of aquifers, pollution, droughts and floods. They are also significant exporters or importers of virtual water through the trade of water-intensive products. Therefore, Standard Chartered is cognisant of water scarcity and quality as issues affecting its business.
"There are two aspects to this: first the impacts Standard Chartered and its clients' operations/assets have on water resources; and second the impact that water availability and quality have on the operations/assets of Standard Chartered and its clients," he concluded.