LONDON, ENGLAND — Olam International Limited on Sept. 3 signed the United Nation’s (UN) Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, which formalizes Olam’s commitment to further developing and publicly disclosing, a sustainable and effective water management framework.

As the supply, quality and reliability of water resources come under pressure and the need to adapt to the impact of climate change increases, the CEO Water Mandate is an international initiative making a real contribution to water security by engaging industry. It covers six core elements across direct operations, supply chain implications, collaborative initiatives and governance practices. 

In addition, Olam has set targets to:

• Reduce consumption of fresh water in processing its products by 10% per tonne by 2015.
• Reduce fresh water usage for irrigation by 10% per tonne by 2020.

Sunny Verghese, group managing director and chief executive officer, Olam, said, “Water security is critical to global food security and the resilience of Olam’s international food supply chain. Continually improving water management is therefore not just a pressing environmental and social concern, but a business imperative. Signing the CEO Water Mandate formalises our strategy to mitigate water risk and publicly demonstrates our contribution to the UN Global Compact’s vision for global water security.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Olam join the now roughly 100 companies participating in our water stewardship initiative,” said CEO Water Mandate Technical Director Jason Morrison. “We have been spending much time in recent months delineating how companies’ water stewardship practices can align with and support the UN-led process to define a post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Addressing the water-food nexus is going to be of paramount importance in achieving water sustainability globally.”

Under the Mandate’s public disclosure policy, Olam will provide annual progress updates. The agreement also commits Olam to joining the UN Global Compact within the next six months, which will align the company’s operations and strategies with the initiative’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.