In response to World Water Week in Stockholm last month, our partner WWF is hosting a water series on their blog On Balance to continue the conversation. Several different partners will be sharing their perspectives, and we're helping spread those stories here on Unbottled. Check back each day this week to get a snapshot of their posts and to jump into the conversation in the comments.

At 2013 Stockholm World Water Week (September 1 -- 6), we joined World Wilidlife Fund (WWF) in posing provocative questions and asked conference attendees to respond on a large, canvas board.  Here’s what we asked:

  1. We say water, you say…?
  2. The biggest water challenge is…?
  3. Without fresh water…
  4. How do you value H2O?

As we read through the different responses, we came to a clear conclusion -- the same conclusion that inspired our innovative collaborations, we can create new opportunities to tackle the world’s water challenges.

A decade ago, when we started to strategically engage on water issues outside the walls of our bottling plants, we realized that we needed to do so in partnership with others.  These partners included local communities and governments as well as organizations that understood the challenges and had expertise, credibility and the willingness to partner.

WWF was one of our first partners.  After a successful seven years of work together on freshwater conservation and improvements in our production facilities and agricultural ingredient supply chain, we recently announced another eight years of planned work, through 2020.  But before we launched this exciting next phase, we took time to reflect on our experience and document learnings -- both in conservation as well as business/NGO partnerships. You can learn more by going to our Freshwater Conservation website.

Want to hear more of Greg's perspective? See this original piece on the World Wildlife Fund's On Balance where he continues the conversation. Have questions? Let Greg know in the comments below.

Greg Koch

Greg Koch is Global Water Stewardship Director at The Coca-Cola Company.