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Environment & Sustainability

FT Water Summit

Unlocking Returns in Water Investment

London |
Speakers include:
Michael Kobori

Michael Kobori

Levi Strauss & Co.

Pilita Clark

Pilita Clark

Financial Times

Carlo  Galli

Carlo Galli



The FT Water Summit is for CEOs and their water strategy and sustainability teams. The event will bring together companies whose business relies on water as: An ingredient for its products; An input in its processes; And/or through a dependency on its availability in the supply chain.

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/11/2017 08:30:0010/11/2017 18:00:00trueFT Water SummitThe FT Water Summit is for CEOs and their water strategy and sustainability teams. The event will bring together companies whose business relies on water as: An ingredient for its products; An input in its processes; And/or through a dependency on its availability in the supply chain.FT-Water-Summit893c9dc18723b36102dc1f9ba6179de2MM/DD/YYYY

Early Bird discount ends in


Early Bird Discount

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 “The most interesting event attended this year connecting industry, institutions and NGO, focus on common goal and now to achieve it. Brilliant!”

Rodolfo Nervi, Bacardi            

“An excellent networking event to hear thought leadership on the key issues facing global economies”

Lila Thompson, British Water

A thought provoking and stimulating event”

Tony Clark, Glacex Environmental

“Great mix of speakers from blue chip companies to inspirational artists. A well rounded approach.”

Dania Sauza, DNV GL

“I have participated in many events all over the world but it's the first one organised by the FT. I am astonished!”

Paulo Santos, Copem Engenharia

"Water will be the most important issue of the 21st. Century the FT Water summit is making a real contribution to the recognition and action needed to resolve it.”

Jack Moss, AquaFed


Full Overview

Water is a major ingredient in many consumer products. From the immediately obvious example of beer, to the less obvious example of a pair of jeans, which need water to grow the cotton they are made from. It is the most important input to the oil and gas industry, while the tech industry needs more and more of it to cool their burgeoning data centers.

In a time of growing uncertainty around its availability, investors, shareholders, politicians and consumers want these companies to use water more responsibly. More external scrutiny means water is taking a greater share of the conversation in the boardroom. There is self interest at work there, too.

Enlightened CEOs of national and multinational corporations understand that investing in water management initiatives – particularly ‘beyond the perimeter fence’ (through the supply chain and in the localities where they are operating) - can help secure supply, solve shared water problems, and also improve the bottom line.

Shifting its focus this year from water as a business risk to water as a business opportunity. The 3rd annual FT Water Summit will look at how companies are working with partners and other stakeholders in ways that are - or could be - generating more returns from sustainable and long-term water initiatives outside their own operations.


Speakers (5)

Michael Kobori

Michael Kobori

Vice-President, Sustainability
Levi Strauss & Co.

Michael Kobori has led sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. since 2001. He developed and leads the company’s Net Positive initiative, which has the audacious goal of achieving net positive impact in water, chemistry, carbon, and people. The company is implementing Net Positive by integrating sustainability into all global functions and regional businesses and open sourcing the company’s sustainability innovations to the rest of the industry. Under his tenure, Levi Strauss & Co. has been an industry leader in sustainability, pioneering initiatives such as rollout of Water<Less production techniques to 50% of all products by volume; growth of Better Cotton to 21% of all the company’s cotton usage; development of a hazard-based Screened Chemistry Framework; expansion of Worker Well-being programs to over 100,000 workers; and placement of Care for the Planet™ labels on all products. Mr. Kobori is a Director of the Cotton Board and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.  He serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Cornerstone Capital Group, President’s Leadership Council of The Asia Foundation, and is a member of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Leaders Program. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also received his undergraduate education in Psychology and Asian Studies. 

Pilita Clark

Pilita Clark

Environment Correspondent
Financial Times

Pilita Clark was appointed Environment Correspondent in May 2011, having previously been the Aerospace Correspondent and Deputy News Editor on the main news desk at the Financial Times, and then Deputy Editor of the FT Magazine. In her current role Ms Clark covers all environmental issues, from climate change to wildlife and renewable energy, but has a particular focus on the impact of low-carbon policies on businesses and investors. Before joining the FT in 2003 as a Commissioning Editor on the FT Magazine, Ms Clark was a Senior Writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, where she was a Political Reporter in Washington DC and Canberra. She was also Managing Editor of The Eye news magazine in Sydney, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Carlo  Galli

Carlo Galli

Technical Director Water Resources – Corporate Operations

In his capacity, he is key actor in transforming and redefining the water stewardship strategy and program at Nestlé, inspires and guides Nestlé’s management at Corporate and Market level in its implementation.

He elaborates the Corporate water stewardship strategy and ensure the adoption of best practices within all Nestlé Operations (e.g.: ~500 manufacturing facilities and agriculture supply chain) aimed at minimizing the threats related to long term water availability, ensuring good relationships and collaboration with international and local stakeholders, and deploying local water initiatives aligned with the “Nestle in Society – Creating Shared Value” framework.

Main competencies and skills are in both the technical and stakeholder engagement’s aspects of water resources exploration, management and conservation.

  • Steering Committee Member at “CEO Water Mandate”
  • Member of the “International Standard Development Committee” (ISDC) at the “Alliance for Water Stewardship” (AWS)
  • Chair of the “Water & Agriculture” Committee at the “Sustainable Agriculture Initiative” (SAI)
  • Co-Chair of WASH Pledge initiative at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Advisor to “The Water Network”
Felicia  Marcus

Felicia Marcus

California State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia Marcus is the California State Water Resources Control Board (Board) Chair, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor.  The Board implements both federal and state laws regarding drinking water and water quality, and it implements the state’s water rights laws. Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector.  In government, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress on a wide range of issues including urban, agricultural, multi-state, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues. Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. In the non-profit world, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people.  She also was a private and non-profit sector attorney in Los Angeles.   She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.

Greg  Koch

Greg Koch

Director, Global Water Stewardship
The Coca-Cola Company

Greg Koch joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1996. He has nearly 30 years of experience and is a globally recognized leader in the water resource management space.  Currently, he leads Coca-Cola’s global water stewardship strategy across 1,000 facilities and numerous agricultural supply regions, by focusing on: water use efficiency and wastewater management in production facilities; watershed protection and climate change adaptation; community water initiatives; supply chain water management, global awareness and action, and water policy engagement. He collaborates with bottling partners, governments, NGOs, aid/development agencies and communities throughout the Coca-Cola system.


Agenda - 11th Oct

  • 8:30am
    Registration and morning refreshments
  • 9:00am
    Chair’s Opening Remarks

    Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times

    Session 1 – Establishing the Business Case around Investing in Water Management 

  • 9:15am
    Keynote Interview: Water and the CEO’s agenda

    What’s the CEOs view on water in the supply chain and how is the response resourced? How important is water in the CEO’s decision-making? How do you get water onto your CEOs priority agenda? What does the CEO want and need to hear from their water strategy and sustainability teams? How can the customer influence the CEOs water agenda?

  • 9:45am
    Case Study Panel: Capturing Returns through Long-Term Water Management Programs
  • 10:15am
    Panel: The New Competitive Edge - Creating and Sharing Value

    For-profit models to tackle larger-scale shared water challenges that benefit both water-intensive businesses and the communities and environments they operate in.

  • 11:00am
    Noises Off: Delegates discuss their responses to the morning’s sessions
  • 11:20am
    Networking tea & coffee break
  • 11:40am
    Panel: ‘Context-based’ Water Targets and Metrics

    What is a context-based water target? How do you do it? What are the structural implications for sustainability reporting? And what role are context-based targets likely to have in how corporates address water.

  • 12:00pm
    The Investor Panel

    Institutional investors share their expectations of the companies they are invested in, and are planning to invest in, and predictions regarding what they see coming over the horizon.

    With extended Q&A with the audience

  • 12:45pm
    Case Study Panel - A Collaborative Approach to Better Water Basin Management to Address Supply Chain Risk

    Interrogate the stakeholders involved in a water basin management project about the challenges and hurdles they had to be overcome to make it happen.

  • 1:15pm
    Networking lunch break
  • 2:15pm
    FT View from the Top Interview

    Co-creating Shared Value with Water-intensive Corporates to Solve Large Scale Water Challenges

    Felicia Marcus, Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board

    Interviewed by:

    Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:00pm
    The Water Table Session

    A dynamic session, hosted in small groups, with a maximum of 12 delegates per group. This is an opportunity to think freely around the challenges in your industry sector, contribute to the discussion, and network and exchange ideas with peers across the water value chain. 

    Delegates take part in two consecutive, 35-minute discussions hosted by the people that have successfully monetized water initiatives in their companies.

    Topics will include:

    Writing in Water? How to effectively communicate your message about the importance of water in terms and language that your CEO, your supply chain companies and your investors understand.

    Influencing consumer behaviour to reduce the water footprint: bold and effective ways to help customers and other stakeholders use water wisely

    Providing access to water and sanitation: identifying and working with local partners to meet Social Development Goal #6; overcoming the challenges & pitfalls

    Moving from short-term operational fixes to long-term solutions: understanding exposure across geographies, along value chains, and product categories

    Effective approaches to quantifying operational risk in the supply chain

    High impact collective action to address water challenges. How companies can work together and with government bodies in water scarce regions and basins to improve water availability over the long term.

    How to measure your company’s water management and its impacts

  • 4:10pm
    In Conversation: What is the Value of Water?
  • 4:30pm
    The Devil’s Advocate Session

    The most highly-rated session at last year’s conference, the Devil’s Advocate session returns in 2017. This session is designed not to ‘point the finger’ at individual companies, but to get answers from the day’s speakers to some of the thornier questions around what corporations are doing, or not doing, or should be doing more of, in the context of improving corporate water management and tackling water scarcity.

    In order to facilitate frank discussion, Chatham House rules will apply. Nothing said in this session will be directly quoted.

  • 5:00pm
    Closing Keynote Address

    Applying Circular Economy Thinking to the Water Imperative 

  • 5:30pm
    Chair’s closing remarks followed by drinks reception

The FT Water Summit Story

As the global watershed finds itself under increasing pressure, water quality and scarcity issues poses risks – and also opportunities - to most companies and industries. It impacts brand, credibility, credit rating, insurance costs - and the bottom line.

The FT Water Summit, now in its third year, was launched in 2015 with the aim of providing practical and action-focused content to help companies whose businesses rely on a secure and good-quality supply of water to succeed.

It is forward-tilting and solutions-focused, and devotes attention to the ways in which water can give competitive edge, how it can be harnessed as an enabler of growth, and how companies can work collaboratively with governments, NGOs and local communities to make this happen.


Themes for discussion

This event will be of particular interest to food and beverage companies, retailers, consumer goods, textile companies, energy companies, and semiconductor manufacturers, as well as policy makers, IFI’S, public and private water supply and sanitation operators.

As the global watershed finds itself under increasing pressure, water quality and scarcity issues pose acute business risk to most companies and industries. It impacts brand, credibility, credit rating, insurance costs - and bottom line. Access to appropriate water and access to waste water treatment is a prerequisite for economic development.  The consequences of inaction demand that we go beyond a business as usual approach.

Recent estimates indicate that annual investments in the order of 500 billion to 1 trillion USD dollars will be necessary, from now to 2030, to solve the problem of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Properly managing water’s risks – both in internal operations, and through the supply chain – is vital to securing future supply and protecting reputation.

Increased investment in resilient and multi-purpose water infrastructure and more efficient water resources use and management is central to delivering water security globally. Developing nations have a clear need for sustainable and bankable investment.  There are clear opportunities for sustainable business operations through innovations in investment.


Who is the FT Water Summit for?

The summit is researched and designed for an international audience of CEOs, chief sustainability officers, Chief Supply Chain officers, CFOs, water leads and sustainability leads. It will also be of interest to policy-makers, water technology companies, tools, solutions and software providers, water utilities, engineering companies, banks, institutional investors, and advisory firms.

Sectors: Food & bev / Pharma / Oil & gas / Retail (esp. apparel) / High tech / Automotive / Hospitality  


Why Attend?

The day’s conversations will highlight some of the implementation obstacles, hurdles and pitfalls, with particular attention paid to what didn’t work - so that you won’t have to repeat the same mistakes. And while this year’s conversation is anchored around water as an opportunity, we’ll also deliver answers to some of the wider questions around water stewardship, including:

  • How do CEOs perceive water, and how are they resourcing a response to it?
  • Are context-based targets – the current talk of the town - a passing fad, or the future of corporate water strategy?
  • What do investors really want to know about your company’s water use? Where do they get their information, and how does this affect their investment decisions?
  • In the wider context, what’s the value of water, and what does this mean for future business growth?
  • How do you get your water basin partnershipinitiative to scale? Could a co-creation of shared value model be the answer?

Why Sponsor

  • Gain access to corporate decision makers looking for solutions to tackle water scarcity as a threat and nurture its business potential
  • Brand alignment with the FT and its unrivalled credibility
  • Demonstrate leadership and CSR impact around the crucial issue of the water resource and its business potential
  • Benefit from sustained international visibility through our advertising and marketing campaigns


Ticket Type


Super Early Bird Discounted Ticket before 14/04/17

£599 + VAT

Early Bird Discounted Ticket before 14/07/2017

£699 + VAT

Standard Summit Ticket

£799 + VAT



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