When describing the geography of SGI, one can use bodies of water as a descriptor: The Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. We have a new member from the other side of Lake Michigan, the Grand Rapids Dominicans as well as another new member near the Lake’s southern shore, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. We are based on the western shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, and a returning member here is more commonly known as the Lake Franciscans and our board president is from Riverwater Partners. Most other members can be characterized by their proximity to the Mississippi: The Franciscans Sisters of Little Falls near the Mississippi’s origin, our members from the Twin Cities, the FSPA’s in La Crosse, the Dubuque Franciscans and the BVMs, our St. Louis members, down to the Jesuits in New Orleans.
One might say that water is in our DNA as an organization.
On August 19th, we continued efforts to educate ourselves on issues related to water. In a webinar on Water Stewardship, we learned about some tools that we can use and actions we can take in these efforts. We are grateful that Robin Miller of Ceres and Lydia Miller Dana Investment Advisors joined us to enrich our conversation.
“The ultimate stranded asset related to water is people.”
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, and access to water have become existential threats, and, while politicians have been forced to collaborate on a global scale, the financial sector and businesses must also contribute if we are to have a chance of success. Until recently, there was not enough publicly available information for investors to assess the real-world impacts of their investments on water availability, making it difficult to accurately assess water-related risks. New tools present opportunities for investors to become involved through active ownership and investing in companies that provide water solutions.
Water stewardship, in corporate life, means understanding the risks faced from water scarcity and pollution, and taking action to help ensure sustainable water management. In its plainest sense, water is a shared, public resource.
Again, we are very grateful for the presence of Robin and Lydia in this webinar, for their commitment to this work, and their generosity in sharing their wisdom and experience with us. As always, we welcome your feedback via a confidential evaluation found here. Slides are available here.
Water Stewardship Resources:
- Ceres’ Water Toolkit
- Ceres’ Feeding Ourselves Thirsty
- The Next Steps Towards a Circular Economy (by Lydia Miller,
- Water: from a systemic and unpriced risk to a measurable opportunity with positive impact
- World Resources Institute Volumetric Water Benefit Accounting
- World Water Week 2021 (August 23-27 2021)