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Deloitte donates expertise to online management tool (Water Wednesday)

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The public-private platform will include mapping and visualizing tools that analyze facilities' impact on watersheds at risk.

Contributor’s Note: This is an ongoing column in water sustainability, consumption and management issues. The rationale is simple: water is a more urgent priority for corporate social responsibility programs and becoming more so every day.

The Deloitte sustainability services team will donate its expertise (the equivalent of about $500,000 in consulting) toward the development of publicly available online tool intended to help organizations make more informed decisions related to water conservation and management.

The initiative is part of a joint effort that includes Deloitte, the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the Pacific Institute and the German International Development Agency (GIZ). It supports the CEO Water Mandate (part of the United Nations Global Compact). That mandate is a public-private initiative focused on supporting companies that are developing water sustainability policies. CEOs endorsing the mandage are agreeing to water resource management priorities that are part of the UN Global Compact vision. It covers direct operations activities, supply chain, community engagement and transparence, among other things.

The platform under development by Deloitte and the other organizations mentioned above is one that they describe as a "clearinghouse" for best practices related to accounting and stewardship.

"This is a very exciting and much needed effort. Although water is a global issue, the solutions are translated to the watershed level," said Will Sarni, director of enterprise water strategy for Deloitte Consulting and the author of "Corporate Water Strategies."

The platform will include a feature that lets companies, communities and non-governmental organizations map their facilities into specific watersheds. Those maps will serve up information and analytics that will help them better understand the impact of their activities in the area. The platform will draw on existing tools including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD's) Global Water Tool and the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Aqueduct project, according to the press release describing the project.

Past Water Wednesday posts:

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure