6 Ways CEOs Can Help To Mitigate The Water Crisis
By Donna Vincent Roa, PhD, ABC, CSR-P
President Obama or his top aides have recently seen more than 20 CEOs warning of economic calamity and urging action to address the debt ceiling. Walk the halls of Senate and House office buildings and you are likely to see CEOs and other executives presenting the industry-specific issues and challenges they and their companies are facing during the government's current financial crisis.
The recent news about the increasing visits by CEOs to the White House and on Capital Hill prompted me to reflect on CEOs great potential in helping to mitigate the water crisis. At this year's World Economic Forum, world business leaders tagged water as one of the highest impact risks facing the world.
Taking action for water seems a logical next step. CEOs can play an important role in raising the profile of water issues, bringing corporate insights into the policy debates, and developing and delivering positive narratives about their company's influence on the water value chain. Here are six action items for all CEOs.
1) CEOs, who are typically perceived as statesmen, should be positioned to advocate for water at the highest levels of government.
2) CEOs should influence policies and regulations that protect water and should play a more active role in policy and regulatory debates.
3) CEOs should develop and share concrete water-related goals and consistently report on water progress.
4) CEOs should contribute to broader market-based solutions and innovation and investments in water technologies that can address our nation's and the world's water challenges.
5) CEOs should expand thought leadership and executive positioning in support of water, maintain transparency on water-related activities, and develop positive narratives about their respective company's influence on water issues.
6) CEOs should stimulate cooperation and collaborative partnership building that can benefit both the greater public good and their bottom line.
Businesses impact water resources. Businesses rely on water to operate. The private sector has an important stake in helping to address water challenges. The business of water needs influentials who can drive positive impact, mitigate water risk, and be champions for better ways to manage our water resources.
Urgent action is needed for water. The collective response by CEOs can do more for water cooperation and hydro-diplomacy than any other subset of society.
About The Author:
Accredited business communicator, water communication expert, and counsel to CEOs, scientists, engineers and professional communicators, Donna delivers holistic, value-based and industry-relevant solutions and results. She is a multipotentialite, a fan of Einstein, and an avid environment and nature photographer who frequently writes about water issues.