Business and Water – A Perspective from government and non-profits REVISED

Stan Laskowski is a leading figure in the Masters of Environmental Studies Program and University of Pennsylvania and until recently was the President of Philadelphia’s Global Water Initiative, a non-profit organization.

With years of experience working in US EPA, Stan Laskowski is currently a professor at The University of Pennsylvania teaching students all his knowledge in the topics of water, drinking water, sanitation, and health. Stan’s experience in NGO include Philadelphia Global Water Initiative, Stroud Water Research Center, Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership/Wharton, and A Spring of Hope.

With his experience, Stan points out one of the major conflicts between business and regulations which is the need for longer-term certainties to include smart and meaningful regulations. Some companies do not want to associate with US EPA except for following the regulations.

When asked how about now? How is the relationship between the current EPA and companies out there? Stan gave the answer of both increasing and decreasing. There are companies that are striving to improve the relationship between EPA and the company itself through going beyond the policies while others still shy away from any links. From the perspective of EPA, Stan says that EPA can learn a lot from private business as there exist many experts who knows the industry more than the EPA.

As an expert in global water and sanitation, Stan gives his insights to the topic. As the McKinsey report mentions, worldwide there will be 40% shortfall of freshwater by 2030. But this is if business is usual and with the way how the world is going, business cannot be usual and companies will play a key role in the change. Programs such as the Earth Charter in 2000 and the Millennium Development Goals in 2001 shows that government is also playing important roles in water. What about non-profits? Non-profits can provide partnership with not only companies but also government. Partnership between business and non-profit can develop insights and are thought leaders. Business brings funding in exchange for contacts and vice versa. Furthermore, each can gain image through these collaborations.

One particular NGO that Stan is involve in is Philadelphia Global Water Initiative. PGWI is a network of NGOs, businesses, government agencies, and universities all locally and host in-country projects as well as education and research. The future of business in water will require collaborations and it is good to see that there are individuals like Stan Laskowski to teach and develop students into the field of water.

 original post


About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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