Finnish national roadmap for water stewardship

National roadmap for the Finnish target state for water stewardship in 2030 was launched at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in October 2019. The roadmap is published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and prepared together with Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finnish research institutes and WWF Finland. The Finnish water stewardship commitment presents best practices and guidelines for companies to progress towards more sustainable use of water in their operations and global value chains.

“Finnish companies have been ranked among the most sustainable in the world but many of them have still a low awareness of their full dependency and impact on water. With the Finnish Water Stewardship Commitment, we wanted to challenge the companies to assess their water risks and to develop sustainable water use and governance throughout their international value chains. The commitment helps companies to navigate in the occasionally complex world of water by bringing together best international guidelines and tools for different steps of water stewardship progression. The commitment is a part of Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development, the Finnish national implementation framework for UN SDGs, and thus promotes corporate engagement on water in public interest." says Dr. Suvi Sojamo from Aalto University, who led the development of the commitment and the national roadmap.

While challenging the companies, the ambitious target of the roadmap is also that by the year 2030, water stewardship will be integrated into politics as well as criteria for research and development programmes, government procurements and funding. More specifically:

  • Water stewardship shows in research and education on a national level. Finnish research and development funders recognise the issues concerning water stewardship both in international, nationally funded research programmes and in national programmes.
  • Water stewardship is a permeating theme in Finland’s national politics and in international politics that Finland promotes. Water stewardship is a part of policies concerning water protection and use, industrial and trade policy and development policy. It also coincides with many Ministries’ areas of responsibility. Water stewardship is a part of review and investment criteria for government procurements and government-funded projects.