By: Rana Fakhoury, Programme Specialist, Partnerships with Private Sector, UNIDO
In December 2013, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and DNV GL – Business Assurance have joined efforts in a strategic partnership to cooperate around water footprint measurements and capacity building for sustainable supply chains.
DNV GL is a leading provider of classification, certification, verification and training services. In business assurance, the company is one of the world’s leading certification bodies, assuring the performance of organizations, products, people, facilities and supply chains through certification, verification, assessment, and training services.
Water risk has emerged to be a key sustainability issue for organizations worldwide. Freshwater resources are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change and competing demands from growing industries and populations. Consequently, many businesses are seeking to measure and mitigate the water footprints of their products and services.
UNIDO and DNV GL will cooperate on the joint development of a water footprint self-assessment tool to assist small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate their water footprint in the early stages of the product life cycle, from sourcing to raw material processing and production. Even though there are a number of methods available today to help companies calculate and assess their water use and impacts, they need access to practical tools to start implementing these methods. SMEs in particular do not have the resources or technical capability to assess their water impact, but are already being asked by their customers to provide data and information.
UNIDO and DNV GL will also cooperate on a capacity building program, together with large food manufacturers, to facilitate more inclusive and sustainable supply chains. Suppliers in developing countries often face difficulties to adequately respond to market requirements, especially in terms of quality, quantity, productivity and sustainability.
The suppliers upgraded through this capacity-building program will demonstrate a considerable improvement in their performance and compliance with food safety standards. At the same time, large buyer companies will benefit from their supply chains becoming more inclusive and sustainable.
For more information on the UNIDO-DNV GL partnership, please contact Barbara Kreissler, Business Partnerships, UNIDO.