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Water Maturity Progression Operations Context Strategy Engagement Communication Human Rights Sector Specific


Engage stakeholders to understand their perspectives and garner feedback on water practices

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Achieve meaningful and inclusive dialogue with stakeholders

Core Steps
  • Identify and engage stakeholders representing full range of interests
  • Establish ongoing stakeholder engagement processes
  • Report regularly and transparently
Business Benefits
  • 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
  • Suppliers
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Investors
  • 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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CDP’s Global Water Report 2015 (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn about leading practice in corporate water disclosure from companies around the world
Purpose: Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CDP

CDP’s Global Water Results (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn about corporate water stewardship and disclosure efforts from around the world.
Purpose: Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin
Type: Case Studies

Developed by: CDP

CDP’s 2015 Water Responder Pack (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Report your water stewardship practices to investors to demonstrate good practice
Purpose: Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Guidance Tools

Developed by: CDP

Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Determine what water-related topics are relevant to your business
  • Communicate and report water risks, impacts, and practices to key stakeholders
Purpose: Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Guidance

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, CDP, World Resources Institute, PwC

Driving Harmonization of Water-Related Terminology (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand the terms “water scarcity”, “water stress”, “water risk”, and how they relate to one another
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, Alliance for Water Stewardship, CDP, Ceres, The Nature Conservancy, Water Footprint Network, World Resources Institute, WWF

Aqua Gauge (2011)

Primary Functions:

  • Evaluate (qualitatively) the maturity of your water management practice and determine how you might expand and improve those practices
  • Demonstrate good practice to investors
Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Water strategy (Strategy) Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Tools

Developed by: Ceres

Water Disclosure 2.0 (2009)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand early corporate water disclosure practice
Purpose: Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate