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


Engagement

Connect with key partners to leverage sustainable water management and manage the root causes of water risk

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Truly transformational, comprehensive stewardship practice requires you to actively engage with others who share the same water challenges and value chain actors within your sphere of influence. Such engagement enables you to advance sustainable water management beyond your own gates and in doing so better address the root causes of water stress and water risk. Engagement activities may be challenging and complex, but are often the most impactful and important water stewardship activities.


Advance sustainable water management and collective action


Core Steps
  • Prepare for action & identify potential partners
  • Conduct impactful, mutually-beneficial collective actions
  • Engage governments to encourage robust water governance
Business Benefits
  • Address root causes of water stress and water risk
  • Build strong relationships with key partners
  • Establish leadership in industry sector
Why?

One of the two key forms of engagement is partnering with other businesses, government agencies, communities, NGOs, and others with shared water challenges in order to address these challenges in a more effective, efficient, and holistic manner. This “collective action” allows organizations with diverse sets of expertise, knowledge, technology, and financial connections to collaborate on water issues that affect them all (such as collective impacts they might have).

The key benefits of collective action to promote sustainable water management include:

  • An expanded pool of expertise, capacity, or financial resources focused on fostering change
  • More durable outcomes with strong support from the engaged parties
  • Establishment and maintenance of credibility and legitimacy with key interested parties, resulting in improved legal and social license to operate
  • Stronger, more sustainable water governance by engaging multiple stakeholders
What? How?

Collective action can take many forms, from simply exchanging information and data, to seeking advice, to engaging in multi-year partnerships with complex organizational and governance structures.

While collective action can be an incredibly powerful tool and arguably is a necessary component of any robust stewardship plan, it also brings with it many challenges and risks. The decision to partner with others brings with it expectations of prolonged engagement, vulnerability to a loss in reputation if there are negative outcomes, and the need to devote significant resources and time to achieve success. Because of this, companies considering collective action anticipate a wide range of risks and uncertainties to determine when potential benefits outweigh the costs.

The CEO Water Mandate’s Guide to Water-Related Collective Action offers a starting point for understanding collective action and beginning to prepare for action. Guide to Managing Water Integrity in Water Stewardship Initiatives offers insight into how to ensure highly-effective and mutually-beneficial partnerships. The Water Action Hub offers a platform that can help you identify collective action partners with similar interests.

While collective action can be an incredibly powerful tool and arguably is a necessary component of any robust stewardship plan, it also brings with it many challenges and risks. The decision to partner with others brings with it expectations of prolonged engagement, vulnerability to a loss in reputation if there are negative outcomes, and the need to devote significant resources and time to achieve success, among other things. Because of this, companies considering collective action consider and anticipate a wide range of risks and uncertainties to determine when potential benefits outweigh the costs. The CEO Water Mandate’s Guide to Water-Related Collective Action offers a starting point for understanding collective action and beginning to prepare for action. The CEO Water Mandate’s Water Action Hub offers a platform that can help you identify collective action partners with similar interests.



Facilitate improved performance in the value chain


Core Steps
  • Establish communication and trust with suppliers and consumers
  • Raise water awareness among suppliers and consumers
  • Incentivize improved stewardship performance among suppliers and consumers
Business Benefits
  • Build mutually-beneficial relationships with key business partners
  • Manage significant component of company’s water risks and impacts
Why?

A second form of engagement is connecting with your value chain partners, especially your suppliers and customers, to promote improved water performance and manage risks and impacts. By facilitating improved water performance among suppliers, you can further insulate your company from water risk and make production disruptions less likely. By encouraging customers to use your product more sustainably, you can reduce your product’s indirect water use while boosting your reputation and brand value.

What? How?

You can facilitate improved performance in your supply chain through many different means. For example, you can:

  • Embed expectations for water-related targets in supplier contracts
  • Create supplier scorecards and reward higher performers
  • Provide guidance and assistance to suppliers

Many suppliers only need to be provided the business case for action in order to motivate needed change. Supply chain engagement at its core is about using your position of influence to drive meaningful action that is mutually beneficial to the company, the supplier, and the communities in which they operate.

Value chain engagement can also mean engaging consumers to promote more sustainable use, reuse, or disposal of your products. For example, an apparel company might suggest that consumers only wash their jeans once every month.

Resources

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Purpose:
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Scaling Corporate Action on WASH in Supply Chains – White Paper (2016)

Primary Functions:

  • Provides an overview of challenges and approaches that companies take to scaling action on WASH in their supply chains
  • Lays out potential next steps for facilitating further corporate action
Purpose: Provide WASH (Operations) Value chain engagement (Engagement) Human rights SDGs
Scope: Corporate Value Chain
Type: Discussion Paper
Sectors: Agriculture Apparel Beverage Metals & mining Oil & gas

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, and WaterAid

Natural Infrastructure for Business Platform (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Make the business case for investing in natural infrastructure, including healthy river basins and wetlands
Purpose: Water strategy (Strategy) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper Tools Case Studies

Developed by: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

The Business Case for Responsible Corporate Adaptation: Strengthening Private Sector and Community Resilience (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn how companies can adapt to climate change through a collection of case examples, including some related to water
Purpose: Water strategy (Strategy) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Case Studies

Developed by: CDP ND-GAIN OXFAM Rainforest Alliance UNEP DTU Partnerships United Nations Environment Programme United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change United Nations Global Compact

Private sector and water supply, sanitation and hygiene (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn how your company can engage in support of universal access to and use of WASH
  • Identify actionable to encourage catalytic forms of engagement between private sector organisations and institutions working on WASH
Purpose: Provide WASH (Operations) Collective action (Engagement) SDGs
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: Overseas Development Institute

Water Scarcity Solutions (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn about existing water risk solutions to inform your own approaches
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Guidance

Developed by: 2030 Water Resources Group

Guide to Managing Integrity in Water Stewardship Initiatives (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand and identify potential integrity risks to your water stewardship initiative (WSI)
  • Determine how to structure WSIs so as to proactively prevent integrity risks
  • Connect to practical tools that promote integrity in your WSI
Purpose: Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Guidance Tools

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, Water Integrity Network, Water Witness International, Partnerships in Practice, Pegasys, International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP)

Exploring the Business Case for Corporate Action on Sanitation (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn about the global sanitation crisis and how it undermines business viability
  • Determine steps your company can promote improved access to sanitation at the workplace and in nearby communities
Purpose: Provide WASH (Operations) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate

Understanding “Sufficiency” in Water-Related Collective Action (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Assess river basin “sufficiency” so as to understand how much and what type of collective action is needed
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy, CDP

International Water Stewardship Standard & Guidance (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Commit to, understand, plan, implement, evaluate, and communicate water stewardship actions at facility-level
Purpose: Efficiency & pollution (Operations) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Guidance Tools

Developed by: Alliance for Water Stewardship

Aqueduct (2013)

Primary Functions:

  • Conduct robust and granular measure of local water risk
  • Assess water risk based on several measures in addition to physical water availability
  • Evaluate projected changes in future water risk under three scenarios of climate and socio-economic change
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Value chain engagement (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Tools

Developed by: World Resources Institute

Water Action Hub (2013)

Primary Functions:

  • Put your water projects on the map
  • Identify and connect with potential collective action partners
Purpose: Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin
Type: Tools

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate

Water Footprint Assessment (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Inform “big picture” strategic planning
  • Identify at what stage within the value chain the water footprint is in a hotspot
  • Build awareness among public
Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Understand water stress (Context) Value chain engagement (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Guidance Tools

Developed by: Water Footprint Network

Water Risk Filter (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Conduct quick, first-tier facility-level risk screen based on company performance and watershed conditions
  • Access detailed analysis of company’s exposure to water-related risk
  • Easily understandable and useful for companies with limited understanding of water issues
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Tools

Developed by: WWF, DEG

Guide to Water-Related Collective Action (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand the various types of engagement and collective action models
  • Determine when collective action is helpful and necessary
  • Learn how to prepare for and organize collective actions
Purpose: Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Guidance

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, Ross Strategic, Pegasys, Water Futures Partnership

Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy (2011)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand how poor water governance can undermine your business
  • Learn about the five core principles of responsible engagement
  • Determine how your company can encourage and facilitate improved water governance and therefore manage water risk
Purpose: Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Guidance

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, WWF, Water Witness International, Pegasys