The number of water-related risks is growing rapidly – water stewardship must be elevated to an EU priority

Water, a crucial yet increasingly scarce natural resource, is intrinsically linked to various essential themes for companies. Immediate EU-level attention and solutions are required for sustainable water use. For businesses, effective water stewardship can be a competitive advantage, and the global demand for Finnish expertise in sustainable water management is growing.

Companies play a pivotal role in managing water-related risks and promoting sustainable water use. In Finland, businesses are challenged to become global leaders in water stewardship by 2030, as part of the national realization of the UN's sustainable development goals.

Through its position paper on water stewardship, Technology Industries of Finland aims to contribute to this national objective. The paper is designed to heighten awareness around sustainable water use, aiding member companies in better identifying and managing water-related risks and opportunities.

"Awareness of water issues among Finnish companies has risen recently, yet more efforts to enhance water stewardship are needed," states Pirita Lindell, Sustainability Director at Technology Industries of Finland.

Water stewardship is integral to corporate responsibility efforts and can also serve as a competitive edge. The position paper articulates the Finnish technology industry's goals and operational possibilities in promoting sustainable water management.

"We encourage companies to integrate water stewardship into their strategies, evaluate the sustainability of their operations and subcontractors, foster sustainable water use and management in collaboration with stakeholders, and transparently report their initiatives," lists Lindell.

Water, increasingly a scarce resource, is linked to climate change, human rights, and security. For instance, Europe experienced one of its worst droughts in 500 years in 2022. The demand for water continues to rise with population growth and improved living standards.

Moreover, water management conflicts and crises like floods and scarcity pose growing security risks for businesses in the future.

Water stewardship entails the protection of water resources and their utilization in a socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically viable manner.

"In Technology Industries of Finland, there's a focus on international procurement and value chains, as well as foreign operations, since a significant part of Finland's water footprint is generated abroad," says Lindell.

As responsible water use becomes more crucial in global procurement and value chains, Finnish technology industry companies face new business opportunities through technical innovations that enhance water efficiency and management. Finnish companies possess expertise in areas like urban stormwater management and wastewater treatment technologies.

Water is gaining prominence on the EU agenda. In 2023, the European Economic and Social Committee suggested elevating water to a priority across Europe. Technology Industries of Finland advocates for EU-level solutions for water stewardship.

"The EU should now, following the European Economic and Social Committee's recommendations, support the development and adoption of water-efficient technologies and boost expertise," Lindell emphasizes.

For more information:
Sustainability Director Pirita Lindell, phone: +358 40 538 8799,

Technology industries of Finland's Position paper on water stewardship 2024 (pdf)