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In support of the International Year of Water Cooperation, the United Nations Association of Australia (Vic) Sustainability Leadership Seminar, Corporate Water Valuation: Accounting for Risks and Impacts, Valuing Ecosystem Services will be held in Melbourne on 29 April in partnership with National Australia Bank.

The seminar brings together experts and practitioners from business, government and civil society to discuss corporate water valuation as a critical area of natural capital valuation for Australian business.

The seminar will address the challenges and opportunities associated with accounting for the true value of water to business, as well as local actions and global tools and initiatives in this area. It will highlight what Australian businesses are doing, alongside government and NGOs, to measure and manage their risks, impacts and dependencies on water.

Download Seminar Flyer

Time:     1.30pm Registration, 2pm to 5pm
Date:     Monday 29 April
Venue:  Hosted by NAB, The Bowl, 500 Bourke St, Melbourne
Registration Fee: Business / Government $180 +GST
Non-profit / Academic $120 +GST 

Registration Deadline: 5pm, Friday 24 April

Places are limited, please register early to avoid disappointment.

Guest Speakers & Panelists include:

  • Rosemary Bissett, Head of Sustainability, Governance & Risk, Enterprise Risk, National Australia Bank
  • Matt Kendall, General Manager, Planning and Evaluation Group, National Water Commission
  • Carl Obst, Editor, UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA)
  • Jean-Michel Seillier, Regional Manager Victoria, Veolia Water
  • Gioia Small, Regional Manager Sustainability and Vintrepreneur, Treasury Wine Estates
  • Michael Spencer, Secretary, Water Stewardship Australia and Fellow, Department of Business, Law and Taxation, Monash University


  • Rob Gell, Environmental Entrepreneur, Chairman of UNESCO Western Port Biosphere, and Chair of Wildlife Victoria

Join the conversation with an expert panel to discuss:

  • Australian Government perspective: current priorities, measurement and where Australia can make a difference;
  • Australia’s water resources – water security and ecosystem services under the National Water Initiative;
  • Natural Capital Declaration update and finance sector perspective on managing water related risks and opportunities; 
  • Corporate Water Valuation in practice: challenges and opportunities;
  • Water stewardship, natural capital and the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard
  • Water for irrigation: understanding and managing associated risks in the wine industry
  • The UN System of Environmental - Economic Accounting (SEEA) and national environmental accounts;
  • The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB for Business)
  • Integrating the valuing and management of environmental assets into business and government decision-making processes
  • Experiences and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration

The seminar will address the importance of water valuation for understanding water-related risks in business operations and supply chains. Businesses that understand their water-related risks, impacts and dependencies and embed this information in decision-making processes will be better equipped to address water scarcity issues and take advantage of related opportunities.

In particular, the seminar will highlight importance of water valuation for business decision-making around water security and the sustainable management of water resources that takes account of water as a critical economic, ecological and social asset. The seminar provides a forum for shared learning on corporate water valuation and seeks to build momentum for collective action by Australian business, government and civil society in this area.

Corporate Water Valuation provides businesses with the information needed to: identify and manage water-related risks and impacts; communicate water risks and performance to stakeholders including investors and customers; and develop policies and practices for the sustainable management of water resources through improved operational efficiency, sustainable manufacturing and water sensitive or eco product design.

Water Security

“Successful businesses will be those that can capitalize on changing global water availability, measure and manage their water use, and manage the risks that water shortage can pose to their supply chain” 
- Carbon Disclosure Project

All economic activities depend on water. Business and industry have the greatest impact on water resources with agriculture alone accounting for between 70 and 90 percent of global freshwater withdrawals. The recent WEF Global Risks Report placed water supply in the top 5 global risks to business by both impact and likelihood. Moreover, it is estimated that by 2030 demand will outstrip water supply by 40 percent. Businesses in Australia and globally are already facing water related risks and impacts including disruptions to operations due to water shortages or quality concerns, price volatility, and conflict over water resource access and allocation.

It is estimated that each year the economic value of ecosystem services is at least twice that of global GDP. Only by identifying and measuring the impacts and dependencies of business activities on water will businesses and policy makers be able to make better informed decisions and effectively manage associated risks and opportunties. Water security is a crosscutting issue, understanding the links between water, climate change, energy, land and food security is of critical importance to business and government decision-makers alike.

International Year of Water Cooperation

“Cooperation is critical not only to ensure the sustainable and equitable distribution of water but also to foster and maintain peaceful relations between and among communities” 
UNESCO International Year of Water Cooperation

“All economic activities depend on water. Cooperation can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources, including through joint management plans creating mutual benefits and better living standards” 
- United Nations

2013 is the International Year of Water Cooperation. This year the United Nations seeks to raise awareness of the challenges facing water management due to the increases in demand for water access, allocation and services. It also strives to build momentum for increased cooperation by business, government and civil society to advance water sustainability and the sustainable and equitable distribution of water.

Key messages for the International Year emphasise the dependency of all economic activities on water and the associated risks and impacts for business and industry. The International Year promotes joint action and cooperation by all sectors for more efficient, equitable and sustainable use of water resources.

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