June 18, 2012

Netafim's in Good Company

This morning, Netafim CEO, Igal Aisenberg, signed an MOU in Brazil along with CEOs of 45 companies, including H&M, Coca Cola, Unilever, Levi's, Carlsberg, De Beers and Pepsico: "We are committed to help solve the global water crisis".

In signing, Netafim undertook to provide irrigation infrastructures for thousands of farmers in India and Brazil

Approximately 800 million people around the world have no access to safe drinking water and about 2.5 billion lack basic sanitation.  Due to population growth, urbanization, industrial trends and climate changes, the UN estimates that about two thirds of humanity will live in areas suffering from water shortage by 2025.

Igal Aisenberg, CEO of Netafim, the world's largest irrigation company, was chosen to head a team of 45 business CEOs from all over the world and to initiate a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  At the event, Aisenberg announced a significant commitment for Netafim and other companies involved in the initiative, by which they would promote water management practices.  The group signed a document calling upon governments participating in the Rio +20 Earth Summit, opening this morning in Brazil, to make water a top global priority.

In a special communiqué carrying the names of all 45 CEOs, the business leaders emphasized the urgency of the global water crisis and called upon governments to step up their efforts and work more actively with the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders.

Among the CEOs who signed the document are the global CEOs of H&M, Coca Cola, Levi's, Carlsberg, Unilever, Pepsico, De Beers and many companies from the food and water, diamond, hi-tech industries and more.  Netafim is the only Israeli company to sign the document.

All of the companies that signed the document, including Netafim, are members of the UN Water Mandate Forum, a business initiative launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2007.  The forum members jointly outline an action plan and formulate a public policy that they believe governments should implement in order to achieve significant progress on water and to better leverage the resources and capabilities provided by the international business community.

In a document signed this morning, the CEOs call upon the national leaders to take several measures, including: formulating policies and incentives to improve water efficiency in all sectors, especially agriculture, and to ensure access to water and sanitation, as set forth in the UN human right to safe water and sanitation.  The CEOs further call upon them to encourage investments in infrastructures that will help promote the efficient and regular supply of water and sanitation services.

The companies also undertook to increase their cooperation with non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, governments and public authorities, as well as investors and stakeholders toward promoting water related projects and solutions.

The communiqué was issued today at the Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro, just days before the opening of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20.
"This is a powerful statement by business leaders to governments everywhere - make water sustainability a priority.  Netafim is capable of making a substantial contribution to the world in these areas", said Igal Aisenberg, Netafim CEO, currently with the CEOs in Brazil.

As part of the agreement, Netafim undertook to provide training and assistance regarding irrigation, water solutions and greenhouses to 50,000 farmers throughout India.  The project was launched last March, in cooperation with Bharti-Walmart, and will go on for three years.  In addition, Netafim will cooperate with the Brazilian government, installing irrigation systems in small farms in remote areas to enable basic subsistence and commerce for area residents.

 

 

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