Important companies from Arequipa reduce their water footprint and join the Blue Certificate challenge

Certificate that acknowledges efficiency in the use of water is decentralized in the hope of fostering the involvement of the private sector.

 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, represented by the National Water Authority (ANA), together with SDC and 2030 WRG, held on June 28 the business breakfast: “Reducing the water footprint and creating shared value in Arequipa”, the first event aimed at promoting the Blue Certificate in the region. The purpose of the event was to acquaint attendees with the Water Footprint procedure and promote the sustainable use of water in production processes.

In his opening speech, the Director of the National Water Authority, Mr. Walter Obando Licera, stressed the importance of the Blue Certificate to ANA as a tool for private companies and the Peruvian government to work jointly on the protection of water resources. He pointed out that an efficient use of water benefits the production sector economically while having a positive impact on the environment, as well. He also highlighted that the collaboration between the government and the private sector brings numerous advantages to those communities close to the industries, one of which is having access to water resources for agricultural and consumption purposes.

Mr. César Fonseca, representative of 2030 WRG, underscored the importance this initiative led by ANA in Peru has over other initiatives conducted in other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, Mr. Martin Jaggi, Cooperation Director – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, on behalf of the Swiss Embassy, emphasized the importance of facing the global water-related challenges. He highlighted the role Switzerland played in developing the SDG-6 of the 2030 Agenda, and the support SDC has provided particularly in trying find a solution to the water problem by bringing together innovation, knowledge management, politics and associativity. An example of this is the “Water Unites Us-SuizAgua” project, which is being implemented in the member countries of the Pacific Alliance (Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile) and Brazil.

Mr. Carlos Verano, Head of the National Water Resources Information System at ANA, explained the process to obtain the Blue Certificate, while Mr. Guillermo Martínez, CEO of Mexichem Peru, shared the advantages of being certified. Mexichem Peru was the first company in the country to be awarded the Blue Certificate, and Mr. Martínez has committed to getting its branch in Arequipa, Plastisur, certified, as well.

Ms. Julia Torreblanca, vice-president of Corporate Affairs at Cerro Verde Mining Society, presented the sustainable development activities concerning water resources they have been carrying out for decades, and their visible results, such as the construction of dams and water treatment plants that benefit people from Arequipa.

Finally, Mr. Alberto Osorio, Head of the Water Administrative Authority of Caplina-Ocoña, highlighted the achievements made by Arequipa in terms of water resources and the environment, and was entrusted with the mission of keeping promoting and getting companies interested in the Blue Certificate, both in the city and in the basins of Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna, within his jurisdiction. Mr. Osorio said that he would take on the challenge of being the biggest promoter of the Blue Certificate in the southern region.

Ms. Mercedes Castro, General Manager of Agualimpia, encouraged companies to give water value by joining this initiative, calling for awareness and a Water Culture in the country: “Leave a mark; take on the challenge. Become an agent of change.”

About the Blue Certificate
The Blue Certificate is a mechanism for reducing the water footprint of the production of goods and services in the country by promoting sustainability, an efficient use of water, as well as the shared value of this resource among companies. It encourages companies to take actions that are socially responsible towards their communities, clients, and consumers, and thereby meet the needs for more and better water in the basin.

The event was attended by more than 50 representatives of Arequipa’s business sector, including mining, construction, food, and retail companies, among others. ANA provided attendees with all the necessary information to start the Blue Certificate process,  a process which consists of three basic steps: i) measure the water footprint (ISO 14046), ii) present a project to reduce it within the company, and iii) present a social responsibility project related to water (shared value) which would benefit the basin.

The companies that successfully conduct reduction and shared value actions are awarded the Blue Certificate by the government as recognition for being water responsible and leaders in water resources management in Peru.

Here is the video made by the National Water Authority showing the advantages of joining the Blue Certificate initiative:

 

See photos of the event:

Source: ANA

 

For further information, visit:
Blue Certificate Website
SuizAgua Andina project, project sheet, Swiss Embassy/Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Water Unites Us – Latin America Website

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.