HOW BIG IS YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT? by ProQuest

VIEWS: 17 PAGES: 3

Pulp and paper producers could soon have to cope with a new set of environmental demands. The idea of providing a 'footprint' of water use was first conceived in 2002 by Professor Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. Today, Hoekstra is scientific director of the Water Footprint Network (WFN), an organization dedicated to promoting the concept, of which doubtless they will hear much more in the coming years. On the WFN's Web site, the water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. The WFN Web site includes sample water footprint calculations for many everyday products, from beer to bread, coffee to cotton. The pulp and paper industry has been dealing with the vagaries of the various carbon emissions trading schemes for several years now.

More Info
									environment




              By JUSTIN TOLAND, Contributing Editor

After carbon, H 2O could be the next resource whose use the
industry will have to account for


HOW BIG IS YOUR
     WATER FOOTPRINT?

                     P
                              ulp and Paper producers could soon have to cope     concept from so many different angles,” notes Hoekstra,
                              with a new set of environmental demands. Fol-       speaking exclusively to PPI. Already the WFN has close to
                              lowing the rapid rise of carbon footprinting, the   20 partners, including the International Finance Corpora-
                     next question for the industry looks like being “Are you     tion (IFC), World Business Council for Sustainable Devel-
                     ‘water neutral’?”                                            opment (WBCSD), WWF, USAID and UNESCO, as well
                          The idea of providing a ‘footprint’ of water use was    as corporate big-hitters such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and
                     first conceived in 2002 by Professor Arjen Hoekstra of the   Unilever. “The NGOs and the businesses were the first
                     University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. Today,    ones to really respond. The NGOs because they think they
                     Hoekstra is scientific director of the Water Footprint       have something at stake they can use and the businesses
                     Network (WFN), an organisation dedicated to promoting        because they see that and they recognise that stake,” he
                     the concept, of which doubtless we will hear much more       continues. Some businesses see the water footprint as
                     in the coming years.                                         an extension of their existing corporate social responsi-
                                                                                  bility (CSR) commitments, while others are concerned
                     WHAT IS A ‘WATER FOOTPRINT’?                                 “Because of real business risks: water shortages in their
                                                                                  operations or the supply chain,” says Hoekstra.
                     On its website (www.waterfootprint.org), the WFN says:
                     “The water footprint of an individual, community or busi-
                     ness is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is
                     used to produce the goods and services consumed by the
                     individual or community or produced by the business.”
                          According to the WFN, “The interest in the water
                     footprint is rooted in the recognition that human impacts
                     on freshwater systems can ultimately be linked to human
                     consumption, and that issues like
								
To top