As a Coalition with companies that play a role in sustainability and protection of our natural resources on a global scale, the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition has adopted a Water Vision, and is advancing the message of how water and energy use are interconnected. Celebrating World Water Day has provided an opportunity to talk about water and its importance for healthy economies and healthy people.
Our Water Vision starts by understanding that water is more than just a resource; it’s a life-source, a driver of economic growth, and a key part of our identity. The accessibility of clean water for drinking, for commerce and for recreation are all critically important regionally and across the globe. Clean water is about public health and equity, and it’s also about ensuring businesses can grow, thrive and conduct commerce. Industrialized, developed nations use a majority of all water around the world, so we must find ways to use water sustainably, benefitting all people, and protecting this precious resource because access to clean water is critically important.
As the world. We zoom out and observe our water and related community systems with a public health lens to combat COVID-19; this systems lens, especially in times like these, is needed for healthy systems and movement toward positive, sustainable change is vital.
Clean water, clean energy and a circular economy benefit us all, and we are advancing projects and ideas that help reduce water consumption and protect access to clean water through collaboration across industries. One recent project we did around water is the Corporate Guide to Sustainable Landscaping (CGSL), providing real life wrote on CGSL and how some of our members are implementing changes on their campuses, which you can read here. These changes not only help businesses save money, reduce maintenance, and improve water quality, they can increase peoples’s access to natural areas, such as the trails and community gardens shared by the Target North Campus with the Brooklyn Park community.
What’s more, in CGSL and in all of our work around water, we understand that the water-energy nexus is an essential part of water sustainability conversations, as we see how closely water use and energy production are linked. Reducing water use reduces energy use and costs to members’ customers, which in turn is critical to our global footprint, reducing greenhouse gases and better utilizing our world’s limited natural resources. Water and energy are interdependent, so understanding and implementing advancements that take a broad look at how we use water means we are not only reducing energy use, but also protecting access and improving equitable outcomes for communities across the globe.
So as we observe World Water Day, I want to say thank you to all of our Coalition members who collaborate on meaningful solutions and do their part to protect and enhance our water with an eye on public health, equitable outcomes and making a better world for all of us.