30 years from now, by 2050, almost 6 billion people across the earth will not have access to clean and safe drinking water, with water demand expected to increase by 25%.
Companies, in their CSR plans do show concern from the rising water scarcity but no one really has any concrete plans to mitigate this huge humanitarian crisis. Its like we know there is a dangerous cliff ahead but on one is doing anything to avert the fall; we are racing to fall, inching closer and closer to zero day, the day when water will run out.
Thus is heartening to read the efforts taken by ITC in the area of water conservation. While IT does make the ‘sin’ product, cigarette, it does a lot of CSR too, probably more than what most companies do. Call it appeasing the guilt or anything else, the bottomline is – its doing good.
In the area of water, it has helped village across India, wherever their supply chain operates, recharge their groundwater levels. It has reported a 40% improvement in these areas.
It has achieved this by organizing farmers into water user groups to help them manage their own local water resources, combining traditional and modern solutions. ITC is helping farmers revive traditional floodwater and rainwater harvesting structures such as community tanks and earthen embankments. In parallel, it’s working with the same farmers to improve water-use efficiency with techniques such as micro-irrigation.
ITC’s initiatives span 16 states and involve 320,000 farmers, showing that businesses can harness the collective power of countless small efforts to make a big impact.