In the last decade, environmental sustainability and social responsibility has become very important to many company stakeholders such as investors, consumers, and the general public. There is now increased pressure for companies to operate in a way that reduces adverse impacts on the environment and local communities.
Investors are increasingly filing resolutions asking companies for more disclosure on water practices, including policies, environmental and social impacts, and water usage throughout the value chain.
This concern is not just about brand reputation but also about fiscal prudence. Water-related risks have increasingly being seen as significant in evaluating long-term business viability.
“Corporate disclosure of water-related risks is seriously inadequate and is typically included in environmental statements prepared for public relations purposes rather than in the regulatory filings on which most investors rely.”
- JP Morgan Global Equity Research
Shareholder resolutions on water
Consumer demand for "green" products and responsible corporations has led to a competitive advantage for companies perceived as environmentally and socially responsible.
- In the United Kingdom, expenditure on ethical goods and services has tripled in the last decade.
- 81% of Koreans, 70% of Singaporeans, and nearly 50% of British consumers are willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly products.
The water sustainability certification system being developed by the Alliance for Water Stewardship will create a new standard by which consumers and investors can compare a company’s water performance.
People around the world identify water issues as one of the most serious sustainability challenges facing the planet.
As awareness about water challenges continues to grow, so will expectations that companies minimize the impacts of their business on ecosystems and communities and contribute to sustainable water management in the regions in which they operate.
A 2009 GlobeScan and Circle of Blue survey of 32,000 people from 15 countries found that concerns about access to water and water pollution have outpaced concerns about global climate change, natural resource depletion, and biodiversity loss, as the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
Survey Results: Seriousness of Environmental Problems
Source: Circle of Blue & GlobeScan 2009