By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO
Busy times for all of us, but for The Water Council team that has been especially the case the last several weeks! Let’s jump right in:
First off, I’d like to welcome our three newest members of The Water Council Board of Directors: Lafayette L. Crump, Milwaukee commissioner of city development; Robert J. Pagano Jr., president and CEO of Watts Water Technologies; and Emilio Tenuta, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer at Ecolab. These leaders will help us further our mission to drive freshwater innovation and advance water stewardship.
The Water Council team has made it back from Chicago this week after attending WEFTEC, the largest annual gathering of water professionals. Together with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, we hosted the Global Center area on behalf of the state of Wisconsin. You can read my summary of the event here, but suffice it to say, attendance might have been down because of COVID and travel restrictions, but the energy was not.
At WEFTEC, we announced a renewal of our memorandum of understanding with the Catalan Water Partnership in Catalonia, Spain. The collaboration has been incredibly fruitful since it was first formed in 2018, highlighted by a joint venture we facilitated between Spanish company SIGMA DAF Clarifiers and Milwaukee-based Clearwater Industries.
Right on the heels of WEFTEC, we are pleased to be hosting a business development event in Milwaukee for international water companies, with representatives from companies located in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Japan. This follows our hosting of the Korea Water Clusters at our headquarters days before leaving for Chicago. Milwaukee truly is a place where water works.
This week we also announced new partners for our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator. Thales Water Advisors, a leading water strategy and finance advisory firm, will provide expertise and thought leadership for BREW 2.0 participants. Beckhoff Automation recently became a BREW corporate sponsor, joining the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. We are now accepting pre-applications for our 2022 cohort. Visit our website for more information or watch the video below.
Focus on Stewardship
At WEFTEC, I presented a well-attended session about the growing importance of ESG (environmental, social and governance reporting) and water stewardship. We know ESG has been a growing focus in finance and of particular interest to publicly traded corporations. However, I was surprised to learn of the ESG pressures now facing water utilities and the number of water professionals attuned to the issue and looking to learn more. This means opportunities for water technology companies to provide solutions needed by corporate water users in a wide range of industries.
At The Water Council, we continue to build out our water stewardship offerings. We expect to launch our corporate accelerator in early 2022 and have seen exciting interest so far. We are also establishing new partnerships and working with new clients on a range of water-related issues facing organizations in Canada and the U.S. I participated in a panel on Marquette University’s Sustainability 2.0 Conference earlier this month. Matt Howard, our vice president of water stewardship, recently appeared on The Sustainability Story, a podcast from the CFA Institute. Take a listen – it’s a great introduction to water stewardship and ESG.
Seeking Water Champions
One easy way to begin your water stewardship journey is to become a Water Champion of The Water Council. Water Champions is a new membership level we have introduced for companies that aren’t part of the water technology sector. Our first official Water Champion has signed on, and we are excited to tell you more soon.
Time is Ticking on Tech Challenge
Another way to get involved with The Water Council is by entering our Tech Challenge. Our corporate sponsors – A. O. Smith, Badger Meter, Watts Water Technologies and Xylem – have issued the three challenges below to researchers, start-ups and other innovators from across the world. Deadline is Nov. 7! Prize money will be awarded, but the best news is that you get your technology directly in front of the R&D teams of these global water technology companies.
Whew! I told you it’s been a busy month. If you aren’t already a member, it’s a great time to join as we continue to roll out opportunities exclusive to our members.