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Why Your Circular Economy Strategy Should Include Water!

Basically, most of people in Indonesia believe that water is cheap- even free. So to attract investment in water efficiency, you need more than just a financial strategy. You also need mush more than the passion to believe in the end that it is the right thing to do. When it starts, you don’t know what you’ll wind up with. But done correctly it will turn into a great investment and generates financial gains.

Tailor made KPIs, based upon true cost of water, allow the measurement and accelarate the progress and impact of this new commitment. They allow evaluating trends from financial perspective and keep an accurate anad substantiated count of the numbers. Increasingly, your sustainability considerations become a means of creating new revenue streams and differentiating you from your competitors.

What is certain however, whether like it or not, is that our future is circular and water is part of it. But to translate the theory into practical opportunities, we need to apply passion for innovation and put partners and market needs at the center of our activities. The ‘linear’ economic model which follows a ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern, is not viable anymore.

A growing population, resources that are enable to keep up with demand, and a limited ability to regenerate them are leading the entire economic sector to move towards the circular economy and new production and consumption patterns. Reusing wastewater as a new resource develops the principles of sharing and even enables opputunity for growth and innovation in a context of scares supply. Emerging technologies, consumer expectations and innovative investment mechanisms are catalyzing this circular activity. They trigger optimism, energy and creative as drivers of success in our changing world.

The COVID-19 situation has been a game changer, through the development of digital solutions and remote monitoring. Previously unthinkable ideas suddenly seem possible as we rethink cities, suburbs, buildings, work, home, shopping and practically everthing else. Managing water as financial resource, in a responsible and sustainable way is perfectly possible nowadays.

Consumers growing concerns about sustainability and investment are driving the adoption of circular initiatives. Concern about plasticts for instance, has catalyzed consumer expectations and government action regarding sustainability. Media coverage regarding the vast quantities of waste plastic bottles has raised consumers’ awareness and scrutiny of the related companies’ output. Traditional water consumption practices bear a heavy responbility on this situation, but new solutions are now available. Climate change, regulations and government engagement are catalyzing this activity, and the investment community is attaching growing importance to it. New funds, partly or wholly focused on the the circullar economy, are emerging. Investing in businesses that are taking from action to promote the circular economy can be a choice that pays off in the long term. Emerging technologies are promotting change as beyond their direct benefits, they provide opportunity to gain long-term competitive advantage.

Moving against many traditional companies’ ‘linear economy DNA’ however creates transition risk. Regulatory and political frameworks might not yet be conducive enough for such developments, depsite a significant amount of political attention in recent years. The global Tourism Plastics Initiative for instance unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. Indonesia belongs to the list of “critical” countries, but does not offer yet the ruquired investment angle for those who wish to invest in the circular economy.

There is much more to ‘being circular’ than recycling: resource recovery increases the economic value of water resources across lifecycles. Sharing access promotes a real sense of ownership. At PT PIPA we believe in a holistic strategy that includes reducing usage, identifying potential to re-use, treat waste waters according to these needs, re-use and recharge. We seek for innovation that reduces the amount of water needed for operations. We redesign the way water should be consumed at each step shared as much as possible. This approach is still relatively rare in the water sector, at least when it comes to linking corporate sustainability to new business opportunities.

We strongly encourage you to find the courage and vision to embrace transformational innovation in these challenging times. The rewards are often within reach, if we are brave enough to seek them. But we should stop considering that water is cheap. It is certainly NOT free!

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