Water Accounting Basics
- Operational efficiency, product eco-design, sustainable manufacturing
- Water risk assessment/identification
- Managing water-related social and environmental impacts and water stewardship response
- Communicating water risk/performance with stakeholders
These areas of interest to companies represent the broad types of methods and tools available and are motivated by a number of factors, including pursuit of reduced costs, strategic planning, brand management/ corporate reputation, and corporate ethics/ philanthropy. However, at their root, they are all driven by the desire to identify and reduce water-related business risk (and seize opportunities), whether through building competitive advantage, ensuring long-term operational viability, or maintaining and/or improving social license to operate.decisions.
- External Water Resource Context and Data
- Corporate Water Accounting
- Public Disclosure and Stakeholder Feedback
- Corporate Water Management and Stewardship
- Stakeholder Water Practices and Strategies
- Sustainable Water Management
The role of water accounting in advancing sustainable water management
- The Water Footprint Network’s “water footprint”: A method for measuring the volume of water used by any group of consumers (including a business or its products) that is intended to help those consumers better understand their relationship with watersheds, make informed management decisions, and spread awareness of water challenges.
- Life Cycle Assessment: A systems analysis tool designed specifically to measure the environmental sustainability of products (including water use/discharge and many other resource uses/emissions) through all components of the value chain.
- WBCSD Global Water Tool: A free online platform that couples corporate water use, discharge, and facility information input with watershed- and country-level data as a means of assessing water-related risk.
- GEMI Water Sustainability Planner/ Tool: Two free online tools meant to help companies better understand their waterrelated needs and circumstances. The Water Sustainability Tool assesses a company’s relationship to water, identifies associated risks, and describes the business case for action. The Water Sustainability Planner helps elucidate a facility’s dependence on water and the status of the local watershed.
Since the release of this report in 2010, these approaches have continued to evolve and many others have emerged. You can access many of these new and updated approaches in the CEO Water Mandate’s Water Stewardship Toolbox.
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