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CNH Industrial joins the pioneers of global water sustainability

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Chott El Jerid, a salt lake in Tunisia situated in the south of the country, it covers a surface of over 5,000 km² with a length of 250 km and a width of 20 km. Photo by Elisabetta Lattanzio Illy​

​​​​​​​​​​Water, water everywhere?

​Water, according to Leonardo da Vinci, is the ‘vetturale della natura’ – the driving force of nature. It sustains human life, health, well-being – and the economy. And yet, according to the United Nations, water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population – a figure that is predicted to rise.

In a 2015 UN World Water Development Report, the Director General of Unesco stated that around 748 million people still had no access to an uncontaminated source of drinking water, while water demand for manufacturing was expected to increase by 400 percent between 2000 and 2050. As the report underlined, water is essential for promoting inclusive sustainable development. It supports human communities; maintains the functions of ecosystems and ensures economic development.

Water management is increasingly becoming a top priority on corporate agendas and management plans as businesses strive to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as part of their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

SDG number 6, “Clean Water and Sanitation”, aims to ensure there is sustainable water management and sanitation for all people around the world. So protecting the world’s water resources is an environmental issue now taking its place alongside climate change and de-forestation. And major companies around the world are rapidly becoming attuned to the significance of water management and water security. CNH Industrial is one of them.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​ ​ ​In 2017, CNH Industrial has been included in the prestigious CDP ‘A’ list​​​
​In November 2017, CNH Industrial was included in the prestigious CDP ‘A’ list of 74 corporations regarded as global leaders in sustainable water management. The CDP ​(formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is a not-for-profit charity that has set up an international system to allow companies such as CNH Industrial to measure, manage and disclose the environmental impact of their activities.​

The global disclosure system has been running for 15 years, spans 90 different countries and has resulted in the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world. Every year more organizations join the scheme. The resulting mass of data allows corporations, investors and policy-makers to come to better-informed decisions on activities and issues that could have a significant environmental impact.​​

CDP Chief Executive Paul Simpson says the organization’s aim is to achieve a thriving economy that works for people and the planet in the long term: “Our mission is to focus investors and companies on taking urgent action to build a truly sustainable economy
​by measuring, understanding and reducing environmental impact. It’s a turning tide; an increasing number of companies are waking up to the importance of water security.”

So how is CNH Industrial helping to lead the way in this field?​

​​​​Wiser water practices begin at home

The promotion of sustainable water development and improved water efficiency starts in CNH Industrial’s manufacturing plants and offices. The Company is dedicated to increasing water efficiency in its processes, to increasing water recirculation, and to reducing water consumption and the volume of water discharged.

As the world’s population continues to grow and economies develop, demand for water rises. So while environmental stewardship is important, the Company believes sustainable management of water is critical from a business perspective, too. CNH Industrial’s goal is to reduce water withdrawals per unit of production by three percent across all plants compared with 2014.

This target is in line with the SDG number six, and focuses not only on water withdrawal but also on different discharge management systems, which vary according to the specific characteristics of the country where the plant is located.

In 2015, CNH Industrial introduced new water-management procedures for all CNH Industrial plants. Every site is expected to raise awareness among staff about responsible water use – not only at work, but also at home. The results speak for themselves. From 2014 to 2016, the combined efforts of all CNH Industrial plants resulted in a total reduction in water withdrawal of more than 600,000 m3 and reduced total water discharge by over 700,000 m3​.The Company’s water-recycling index currently stands at 27.5 percent at a global level.​

​​The future

The Company’s drive for increased water sustainability has pushed it to adapt and innovate, saving resources and money and engaging staff and communities in wiser water practices. It’s just one of the reasons why CNH Industrial is on the CDP’s ‘A’ list of global leaders in water sustainability.​​

The need for good water management has never been more urgent as rising temperatures and growing populations strain the world’s groundwater supplies. Some 40 percent of global food production relies on groundwater irrigation and, according to new research from University College London, its volume has been depleted by 22 percent over the past 10 years.

As CNH Industrial’s EMEA Sustainability Development Initiatives Manager Daniela Ropolo notes: “Water is one of the most critical issues, not only for our Company and not only for the United Nations. Water resource sustainability is critical for the future of the entire world.”​

​Photo by Elisabetta Lattanzio Illy​
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