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Nalco Co-Hosts Water Stewardship Forum

Nalco recently partnered with corporate thought leaders and leading nongovernmental organizations to host the inaugural Water Stewardship Forum in Chicago. The two-day event attracted more than 80 industry experts from non-profit, private and solutions provider organizations such as Nestle, Hewlett-Packard, World Wildlife Fund and ENVIRON International Corporation.

The event was designed to give participants practical, tangible ways to build a business case for making water conservation and efficiency part of a broader sustainability-driven agenda. Attendees learned how market-leading companies manage water risks and ultimately improve their water use. Companies also shared operational best practices on managing water risks by using a cascading approach of conservation, reuse and recycle to reach their environmental key performance indicators.

“The Water Stewardship Forum significantly increased my understanding of this complex topic,” said John Stoffel, Printing Technology Platforms Technology Manager, Hewlett-Packard. “It was a unique forum where the perspectives of both NGOs and Industry were presented and discussed. The Industry discussions provided me with examples on how several companies approached this issue and how they made progress to reduce the severity of this problem."

The forum also allowed participants to take a very active role in creating valuable content that will be of use after the forum ends. One of the deliverables from the Forum will be a white paper from the Water-Energy Nexus Workshop. This paper will highlight attendees’ discussions during three breakout sessions: business drivers, solutions pathways and vision. The first breakout session addressed top-of-mind business drivers that are causing industrial companies to address water-energy issues. The second session asked attendees to discuss solutions pathways that provide best practices for water and energy conservation. The last session highlighted how companies, from an organizational perspective, are preparing themselves for success. At the end of the workshop, all attendees used an audience-response system to see what challenges and solutions were popular among the group. The white paper will be posted on the Water Stewardship Forum’s website on November 5.

Attendees were given the opportunity to informally network and learn more about climate change during an evening event at The Field Museum in Chicago. Participants were given tours of museums’ Climate Change Exhibit and listened to a keynote address from Nalco Chairman and CEO Erik Fyrwald.

"Companies can no longer assume there will be plentiful, affordable, potable-quality water that is discharged after a single use," said Erik. "More than ever, today's water challenges require increased collaboration between companies, government and non-profit organizations. The Water Stewardship Forum gave leaders in these fields the opportunity to share best practices and progress new ideas. By focusing on water and energy use reduction, companies can realize the cost savings benefits in both good and bad times."