Policies, Governance, and Targets

 

One key element of Response reporting is a discussion of the company’s policies, governance, and goals or targets related to water management. This enables disclosure audiences to better understand and evaluate whether companies are adequately addressing water-related challenges.

Content Scope Format
Basic
  • Commitment to water stewardship and human rights to water and sanitation
Companywide Narrative; qualitative
  • Goals and targets
Tabular; quantitative
Advanced (includes basic reporting)
  • Policies, strategies, and governance
  • Respecting the human rights to water and sanitation
Narrative; qualitative

BASIC

Commitment to water stewardship and the human rights to water and sanitation

Commitments to action are the first step in building trust and accountability with stakeholders on water issues. Such commitments (often captured within the Company Water Profile) address why water is important to the business, what is being done to improve water performance and conditions, and how the company will address associated risks and impacts. Such policy commitments will extend to water stewardship practice generally, as well as acknowledging the human rights to water and sanitation and ensuring the company fulfills its responsibility to respect those rights. Commitments will ideally be endorsed and signed by the company’s chief executive or equivalent. .

Goals and targets

Goals and performance targets provide benchmarks against which the company and its stakeholders can evaluate company progress. Key elements of reporting future ambitions include delineating the desired improvement in performance and a timeframe. The most effective goals and targets are measurable and drive clear action and accountability.

Companies provide updates on their progress toward reaching their goals and targets for the reporting cycle against a baseline. They specify whether the goal is companywide or specific to a facility or location. They also characterize the status of current progress. Progress status labels may include 1) Target accomplished, 2) Progress on track, 3) Insufficient progress, and 4) No progress or deterioration. Targets for which companies indicate “Insufficient progress” or “No progress or deterioration” are often supplemented with an explanation of the factors that have contributed to lack of progress, as well as company plans to catalyze improvement.

Profile metrics (described in Company Water Profile) offer a useful basis for companywide goals and targets. In addition, the following common metrics may be of use when developing targets:

  • Percent of facilities with fully functioning WASH services for all workers
  • Absolute reductions in water withdrawals or water consumption
  • Percent reductions in water withdrawals or water consumption
  • KPIs specific to water-stressed or high-risk locations
  • KPIs related to value chain water withdrawals or water consumption
  • KPIs related to community access to water resources and WASH services
  • Absolute reduction in COD
  • Percent reduction in COD
  • Absolute reduction in BOD
  • Percent reduction in BOD
  • Percent of facilities implementing a specific water-related technology or practice

ADVANCED

Policies, strategies, and governance

Corporate water policies and strategies refer to mechanisms that allow companies to integrate water into their core management processes and business planning. Such strategies provide a unifying storyline that pulls together the company’s many specific water-related activities as part of the company’s overarching priorities and actions. Reporting on these strategies includes:

  • Describing types of activities in the context of the strategic objectives they support
  • Locating specific regions where water management activities are focused
  • Consumer reaction and product marketability
  • Explaining how policies address the company’s specific water-related risks, opportunities, and impacts

Many companies disclose the mechanisms that support corporate water-related decision making and enhance accountability. Effective governance structures (and reporting on this topic) include a description of the processes and systems used to assess water-related risks and impacts, determine material water-related issues, develop and implement water-related policies, and establish and enforce a chain of accountability for water-related performance.

Governance reporting should provide insight into which body in the company has ultimate oversight of water management and the mechanisms it uses to drive water-related. Also critical to communicating governance is describing the processes through which the company engages with stakeholders to understand its impacts and establish water policies.

Respecting the human rights to water and sanitation

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights establish an authoritative global reference point on how companies should seek to ensure respect for human rights throughout their operations—both in their own activities and through their business relationships. To put this into practice, companies need to implement due diligence to identify actual and potential impacts on human rights and to prevent, mitigate, and remediate them.

When a company considers how to report on its efforts to respect human rights to water and sanitation, relevant information may include:

  • Descriptions of the company’s policies and processes that address human rights risks and impacts on the rights to water and sanitation specifically
  • Explanations of the company’s key business relationships and how the company addresses risks to human rights to water and sanitation arising from these relationships
  • Information on any severe impacts on the rights to water and sanitation with which the business has been involved and how they have been addressed, as well as any lessons learned

Companies will need to consider both Internal Actions and External Engagement approaches (as presented in these Guidelines) to put into operation policies regarding their responsibility to respect the rights to water and sanitation.

Connected Reporting

Geographic or Geopolitical Area Parameter / Metric Baseline Performance Current Performance Risks & Impacts Managed Target Progress Status

“HEINEKEN: 2013 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT”
In 2013, we achieved a specific water consumption figure of 4.1 hl/hl, down from 4.2 hl/hl in 2012. This is a 20% reduction compared with 2008, the baseline year. This means we are well on the way towards our 2020 target. Without the newly acquired sites, the water consumption would be 4.0 hl/hl.

Forty-four of our production units are already below the target of 3.7 hl/hl, representing more than 45% of total production volume in 2013. There are 21 smaller sites (representing just 3% of our volume) operating above 7 hl/hl.

heineken_1

Full 2013 Sustainability Report

“NESTLÉ: CREATING SHARED VALUE (WEBSITE)”
Nestlé recognises that the long term success of the company is built upon effective water stewardship in the watersheds where its raw materials are sourced from, where its factories are located, and where suppliers and consumers live.

Nestlé is committed to develop its business in a way that facilitates effective water stewardship in the geographies that it sources from and operates within, and is committed to focus upon measures that are cost effective and relevant within a watershed.

Specifically Nestlé commits to:

  1. Work to achieve water efficiency across our operations
  2. Advocate for effective water policies and stewardship
  3. Treat the water we discharge effectively
  4. Engage with suppliers, especially those in agriculture
  5. Raise awareness of water access and conservation
  6. Report publicly on a regular basis on the progress of meeting this Commitment

“HEINEKEN: 2013 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT”
In 2013, we achieved a specific water consumption figure of 4.1 hl/hl, down from 4.2 hl/hl in 2012. This is a 20% reduction compared with 2008, the baseline year. This means we are well on the way towards our 2020 target. Without the newly acquired sites, the water consumption would be 4.0 hl/hl.

Forty-four of our production units are already below the target of 3.7 hl/hl, representing more than 45% of total production volume in 2013. There are 21 smaller sites (representing just 3% of our volume) operating above 7 hl/hl.

Heineken Water Consumption

Full 2013 Sustainability Report

 

“NESTLÉ: CREATING SHARED VALUE (WEBSITE)”
Nestlé recognises that the long term success of the company is built upon effective water stewardship in the watersheds where its raw materials are sourced from, where its factories are located, and where suppliers and consumers live.

Nestlé is committed to develop its business in a way that facilitates effective water stewardship in the geographies that it sources from and operates within, and is committed to focus upon measures that are cost effective and relevant within a watershed.

Specifically Nestlé commits to:

  1. Work to achieve water efficiency across our operations
  2. Advocate for effective water policies and stewardship
  3. Treat the water we discharge effectively
  4. Engage with suppliers, especially those in agriculture
  5. Raise awareness of water access and conservation
  6. Report publicly on a regular basis on the progress of meeting this Commitment