Engage stakeholders to understand their perspectives and garner feedback on water practices
Achieve meaningful and inclusive dialogue with stakeholders
- Identify and engage stakeholders representing full range of interests
- Establish ongoing stakeholder engagement processes
- Report regularly and transparently
- Build credibility and trust
- Gain new knowledge and insight into risks, impacts, and possible solutions
- Develop strategies that truly address stakeholder needs
To be truly effective, stewardship must understand and respond to the interests of your stakeholders. For example, a company might invest in water use efficiency, but if local communities are most threatened by water pollution, its license to operate is still in jeopardy. Similarly, engagement with suppliers will likely be most effective when it helps suppliers meet their own goals. As such, developing systems to regularly communicate with stakeholders is a critical aspect of stewardship. It allows your company to build credibility and trust with potential partners and gain knowledge and insight that informs your water strategies.What? How?
Continuous dialogue with stakeholders can be achieved in many ways and will certainly vary depending on the company’s circumstances and those of its stakeholders. Examples of common communication mechanisms include internal employee memos, annual online and print reports, community forums, contracts, and online suggestion / feedback mechanisms.
Stakeholder engagement will likely be ineffective if it does not engage a full range of interests, including those whom your company does not currently consider close allies. Stakeholder groups that are commonly of value to engage include (but not limited to):
- Communities potentially affected by your operations
- Local NGOs
- Local public agencies
The CEO Water Mandate’s Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines feature a variety of approaches to communicate with stakeholders.
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- Determine what water-related topics are relevant to your business
- Communicate and report water risks, impacts, and practices to key stakeholders
Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, CDP, World Resources Institute, PwC
- Understand the terms “water scarcity”, “water stress”, “water risk”, and how they relate to one another
Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, Alliance for Water Stewardship, CDP, Ceres, The Nature Conservancy, Water Footprint Network, World Resources Institute, WWF
- Evaluate (qualitatively) the maturity of your water management practice and determine how you might expand and improve those practices
- Demonstrate good practice to investors
Developed by: Ceres