Stora Enso and Kemira, a global chemicals company, have started the construction work for pilot projects addressing water-related issues in three villages in Guangxi Province in Southern China. The projects are part of Stora Enso and Kemira's three-year corporate responsibility initiative on water stewardship and shared value creation. Launched in 2013, this initiative strives to enhance the responsible use of local water resources in collaboration with villagers, non-governmental organisations, and the Chinese authorities.
The aim is to improve water supply and sewage treatment, and to provide solutions for water shortages and quality problems. After the construction phase, tailor-made training will be provided to all villages. The goal is to ensure that locals have the capacity to use water responsibly in the future and to maintain the constructed water management solutions on their own.
"Responsible water stewardship is a top priority for us everywhere we operate," says Noel Morrin, Stora Enso's EVP for Global Responsibility. "In Guangxi water is a local concern that we are taking very seriously. If these pilot projects prove successful, the systems can be scaled up by local authorities and copied in surrounding communities to benefit even more people. However, the success of these projects will be defined by the villagers."
"Since the water treatment systems address local needs and will be operated by the villagers themselves, it is very important that local residents are actively involved in the projects from day one," says Riikka Timonen, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Kemira. "Our expertise is needed to ensure that the constructed systems are of good quality and easy to operate – benefiting both local people and the environment."