Eurasia Group | SLC launches report on the business response to Asia's triple water-nature-climate crisis

SLC launches report on the business response to Asia's triple water-nature-climate crisis

Sustainability Leaders Council
28 March 2024

New York, 28 March 2024 – The Sustainability Leaders Council – a venture spearheaded by Eurasia Group and Suntory Holdings - is pleased to announce the launch of its third annual report, which urges a proactive response by businesses to the environmental crisis in Asia. 

Addressing the Triple Water-Nature-Climate Crisis in Asia: The New Sustainability Approach for Businesses builds on the “year of water” call to action in 2023 and encourages corporations to embrace transparency, innovation, and advocacy to address one of the biggest business and geopolitical threats of the century.

The report explores how the continued water crisis is compounded by concurrent climate and nature crises. It charts a path forward for companies, making the case for adopting a holistic approach to tackling these three environmental issues. In so doing, companies and investors can score both quick wins and longer-term gains in terms of stakeholder engagement, social license to operate, and sustainability credentials.

“The triple water-nature-climate crisis is only going to continue to have more and more impact on our geopolitical space,” said Eurasia Group president and founder Ian Bremmer. “The private sector has a critical role to play in this. We are proud to have partnered with Suntory Holdings in this work to lay out a plan for businesses to help preserve the natural ecosystems that they, their suppliers, investors, and customers truly rely on.”

The full report can be found here. Key takeaways and recommendations include:
  • Preparations for the upcoming summer seasons and beyond should start immediately. Planning with full stakeholder involvement from the outset, everyday management of operations, procurement of all necessary materials and supplies, and smooth delivery of products to customers are all essential elements and will result in a clearer picture of the cumulative impact of a company's operations on water consumption and pollution.
  • Water-related disclosures are increasing. It is often underestimated how much water is consumed by businesses (typically by a factor of three to five times the actual amount). More companies are acknowledging “water risk” in their annual reports, as indicated by filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission—rising from 41 in 2019 to 58 in 2020.
  • Businesses should brace for more stringent regulatory environments. Those could include higher water prices, rationing measures, stricter effluent permitting, and the mandatory incorporation of water-saving technologies. Existing national, state, and municipal prohibitions and moratoria for energy production in industrialized countries could soon expand to industries such as cement, semiconductors, data centers, textiles, clothing, and beverages.
  • The risk of reputational harm and financial repercussions from poor water stewardship is expected to grow. Drought-shaming is likely to become more prevalent, while internal whistleblowing could become a threat. The failure to address environmental concerns by corporations may lead to difficulties in retaining staff, especially millennials and Gen Z.
  • The cost of securing new water supplies is expected to soar. Current expenditures could potentially double, causing a domino effect on operations in water-reliant sectors, such as power generation and waterway transport. Companies may have to consider the possibility of relocating business operations in response to water crises.
  • Companies are increasingly embracing water stewardship. After facing intense criticism over water use, many companies are prioritizing local access to drinking water and sanitation over corporate needs. There have been examples of success with large-scale outreach and commitments to provide water, sanitation, and hygiene services in and near their operational sites. To turn from water villain to water steward, industry leaders are urged to disclose water usage transparently, set clear targets to reduce their water footprints, and focus especially on areas where water scarcity and pollution pose urgent challenges.
The report is the culmination of a yearlong project, building on key findings from a roundtable series in 2023 and other activities throughout the year. It follows the 2021/22 report on sustainable plastics and the 2022/23 report on biodiversity. It is a product of the Sustainability Leaders Council, an initiative launched by Eurasia Group and Suntory in 2021 to position Asia as a leading force for change within the climate and sustainability sphere.

For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the report's authors, please contact [email protected].

Contact: Katharine Starr, [email protected]


About Eurasia Group

Eurasia Group is the world's leading geopolitical risk advisory firm. We help clients understand, anticipate, and respond to instability and opportunities everywhere they do business. Together with GZERO Media, the go-to source of first insight into geopolitics, and our full-fledged events team, the Eurasia Group umbrella provides a complete political risk solution.
Headquartered in New York, we have offices in Washington, London, São Paulo, Brasilia, Tokyo, Singapore, and San Francisco, as well as on-the-ground experts in more than a hundred countries in every region of the world.
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About Suntory Holdings

As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products, from premium spirits, beer, wine, ready-to-drink alcohol beverages, to brewed teas, bottled water, still and carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu, as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds with The Premium Malt's beer, and owns the exceptional Japanese wine, Tomi, and the world-famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, BOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong Tea, V and BRAND'S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.

Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $20.2 billion in 2022. Its 40,885 employees worldwide draw upon the unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
As a corporation sustained by the gifts of nature and water, Suntory Group will always protect the ecosystems that deliver water. Because its ecosystem is the wellspring, not only of its business and the rich experiences the group creates for people's lives, but also of human life itself. Suntory Group will continue to be a company where everyone is empowered with the freedom and flexibility to innovate. Through all of its corporate pursuits, Suntory seeks to inspire the brilliance of life.

Learn more about Suntory Group, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability at, on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.