Agbar’s Executive Chairman, Angel Simón, explained the company’s role in sustainable development at a conference held in the Col·legi d'Economistes de Catalunya. “With a population of 9 billion starting from 2050, the water, food and energy nexus will be essential for fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 50% increase in demand for water and food and 40% for energy will require a different management of resources”, Agbar’s Executive Chairman specified.
In this respect, Angel Simón explained the company’s work on calculating the water footprint, that is to say the total volume of fresh water necessary to produce the goods and services consumed by a country’s inhabitants. “With the aim of being more efficient, the company measures each of the litres that we need to produce the goods that we use”.
Angel Simón stated that although SDG number 6 (Clean water and sanitation) is the one that most directly affects the group’s activity, the water resource has a crosscutting involvement in all 17 goals.
For example, in relation to SDG number 14 (Life below water), the company signed a partnership agreement with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in order to strengthen its commitment to the protection of the oceans. The partnership will focus on controlling water quality (temperature, salinity, oxygen) and on limiting the sources of pollution (including plastic), among other commitments.
To achieve the SDG and the agreements of COP21, the main challenge is to mobilize all the players involved: the public administration, companies, consumers and civil society organizations, publicizing the SDG, each group acting within its competence.
To achieve these goals, Angel Simón stressed that “the company has always carried out its activity positioning sustainability at the centre”. Agbar is moreover undertaking a transformation based on four pillars: Digital, Innovation, Sustainable and Social (DISS). By way of example, the SROI method has been referred to, that is to say the company’s Investment Master Plan up to 2020 prioritizes investments not just in view of the return on investment but also by measuring other specifically developed parameters which include the 's' of Social.
On Tuesday, 12 July, the Col·legi d'Economistes de Catalunya organized an event to present issue number 73 of the Revista Econòmica de Catalunya, entitled “Sustainable development: the new frontier”. The following also participated in the session: Joan Casas, Dean of the Col·legi d'Economistes de Catalunya; Martí Parellada, Editor of the Revista Econòmica de Catalunya and Àngel Pes, Deputy General Manager of Caixabank and Representative of the Global Compact Network Spain.
The publication contains articles by several authors who offer a view of the SDG from different perspectives. The journal is divided into five key blocks to achieve the SDG and the goals marked in COP21: the role of the company; energy and climate change; access to drinking water; agro-industry – food and health.