The Blue Certificate, a model for recognizing water-responsible companies, was shared with the other Pacific Alliance member countries at last July’s summit. This is an important step in the private sector’s commitment to achieving true economic growth without neglecting the environment, and an excellent example of coordinated public-private work towards a common goal.
Water-responsible companies awarded with Blue Certificate
The award was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Fabiola Muñoz, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, Swiss Ambassador to Peru; and Alfonso Bustamante, Pro Tempore Chair of the Pacific Alliance Business Council.
Lima was the venue for the VI Pacific Alliance Business Summit, and it took place on July 4 and 5. It was attended by the presidents of the member countries, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the chancellor of the United Mexican States and as a special guest, the president of Ecuador; together with outstanding businessmen and trade union leaders of the region.
The Fifth Award of the Blue Certificate was held in the framework of the Pacific Alliance CEO Summit, an initiative promoted by the National Water Authority (ANA), which recognizes the efforts of private water-responsible companies that apply efficient water use practices and demonstrate social responsibility in the management of water resources in the basins where they operate. The SuizAgua project “El Agua Nos Une” (Water Unites Us) of the Swiss Embassy and its development cooperation (SDC) supports ANA’s efforts by adding more companies to the process of granting the Blue Certificate and strengthening their technical capacities.
The award ceremony was attended by Fabiola Muñoz, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation; Walter Obando, head of ANA; Markus-Alexander Antonietti, Swiss Ambassador, and Alfonso Bustamante, Pro Tempore Chair of the Business Council of the Pacific Alliance (CEAP); and other officials and businessmen from Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
In her speech, Fabiola Muñoz stressed that the companies certified this year have not only focused on generating income, but have sustained their commitment to water-use efficiency. She also added that the sustainability of this resource is one of the best business decisions. “The agro-exports sector here in Peru not only creates jobs, but has understood that the efficient use of resources and sustainability of water is one of the best business decisions“, she said.
On the fifth occasion of the Blue Certificate award ceremony, Minister Muñoz Dodero awarded the Blue Certificate to Camposol S.A. and the Centre for Productive Innovation and Agroindustrial Technological Transfer (CITE), Ica.
The head of the National Water Authority, Walter Obando, presented the registration certificates to the Agrícola Don Ricardo, Textil Amazonas and Compañía Nacional de Chocolates companies, which wish to obtain the Blue Certificate, embarking on the path towards water sustainability. He highlighted the multiplier effect of best practices, so that other companies may voluntarily register to be certified after a rigorous assessment.
The Pro Tempore Chair of the Pacific Alliance Business Council (CEAP), Alfonso Bustamante, stressed that the government is implementing the Blue Certificate, and congratulated ANA for this initiative. He indicated that he would propose that the countries that make up the Pacific Alliance grant this recognition to companies committed to responsible water management.
The Swiss ambassador, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, highlighted the commitment of the Swiss Confederation to tackle the global water crisis, promoting a new form of cooperation through a public-private partnership, which seeks to propose innovative tools for better water management and establish a joint platform to measure and reduce the water footprint and exchange best practice, in line with SDG6 and the United Nations Agenda 2030.
“It is important to move from one single sanitation and drinking water supply approach to an integrated approach that includes the entire water cycle, i.e. water resources management, water quality factors, water use efficiency and ecosystem management. This is the approach which we have promoted in the SuizAgua-El Agua Nos Une (Water Unites Us) project, promoting work between different sectors and generating territorial support networks with the active involvement of the public and private sectors, academics, NGOs and, above all, local communities”, he pointed out.
He finished by saying that the SuizAgua project, which contributes to better cooperative water management, is implemented in all the countries of the Pacific Alliance, linking more than 50 companies in the calculation and reduction of their water footprint, promoting shared value activities.
Benefits of the Blue Certificate
It strengthens the company’s image in the eyes of customers and suppliers; reinforces sustainability in the business; increases competitiveness in government procurement or tenders; reduces water consumption operating costs, and strengthens relations with neighbouring communities
Camposol S. A., has saved water consumption in asparagus production, with an estimated decrease of 406 164 m³. Water consumption was reduced from 168 l/s to 132 l/s, which means a reduction to the order of 7.1 m³/tn. It has also improved the infrastructure of two schools in La Libertad; one of them is special education.
El CITE Ica, has achieved a reduction in water consumption in pisco production, saving 7 262 m³, i.e. a 15 per cent reduction. It also raises awareness about the efficient use of water with over 600 stakeholders in Ica’s agro-industrial sector, and trains students and water users in the region in the importance of the water footprint
Figures to take into account
- To date, six local companies already have the blue certificate, nine are in the process of obtaining it and ten more have begun their water footprint studies. This progress has involved a total private investment of US$ 11.2 million, which has saved 3.3 cubic hector-metres of water, reused 122,000 m3 and treated another 110,000 m3, and has benefited 12,404 people directly and over 24,000 indirectly .
SuizAgua / El Agua Nos Une. The initiative proposes a new form of cooperation, through a public-private partnership to propose innovative tools for better water management and establish a joint platform to measure and reduce the water footprint and exchange best practice in companies that opt for efficient management of water resources. SuizAgua will be implemented until 2020, and is four-fold: i) the water footprint assessment, ii) commitment to the value chain, encouraging suppliers and clients to participate in the reduction of impacts on the resource; iii) collective action in river basins, promoting activities for sustainable water management; and iv) corporate strategies, integrating water risk management into the business strategy.