By Sue Alexander, Senior Manager, Environmental Programmes at HSBC.
The theme of this year’s World Water Week “Water cooperation – building partnerships” seemed to attract a greater number of corporates. There were representatives from the corporate sector not just in the delegate list but presenting their partnerships.
I heard one figure suggesting there were more than 40 events this year which included corporate presentations. This was a noticeable increase on the previous two World Water Week conferences I have attended.
I met with Coca-Cola one morning before the seminars kicked off, with our WWF counterparts, as we both have long term partnerships with WWF on fresh water. There may be opportunities to link these two freshwater programmes. This is the beginning of a joint dialogue and I will be meeting with Coca Cola again in London to follow this up. With the theme of “partnerships” this was the year to introduce the audience to the HSBC Water Programme. Our reception Wednesday evening was very well received.
I was thrilled to see some of the key names in the water and sanitation sector join us. I was also delighted to be joined by HSBC Global Asset Management’s Managing Director and the Marketing and Operations Manager based in Stockholm. We used this event as an opportunity to launch a new film about our work. This was captured during a field trip to see the work of Earthwatch, WaterAid and WWF in India in March. We promised our audience we would present the work of the partnership in more detail next year. World Water Week is THE forum for talking about the global water challenges our planet faces.
More importantly, I get a sense that experts coming together from diverse disciplines and geographies make this a forum for decision-making and action planning, not just talking. Work starts next week with our partners on designing our World Water Week 2014 for the HSBC Water Programme.