There are many corporate water assessment tools currently available to companies, all of which are used for different reasons. The following pages provide an overview of some of the these tools, their origins and underlying purposes, for what applications they are typically most useful, and an estimate of the time and money typically spent using them.
- WFN Water Footprint – Water footprints measure the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed by any well-defined group of consumers, including a family, municipality, province, state, nation, or business/organization.
- Life Cycle Assessment – Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the quantification of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence. LCA identifies the environmental impacts incurred at different stages in the value chain.
- WBCSD Global Water Tool – WBCSD’s online tool couples corporate water use, discharge, and facility information with watershed and country-level data. This allows companies to assess and communicate their water risks relative to water availability and access in their operations and supply chains.
- GEMI Water Sustainability Tools – GEMI’s online tools help organizations build a water strategy. They assess a company’s and its facilities’ relationships to water, identify risks, and describe the business case for action that addresses companies’ specific needs and circumstances.
- WRI Aqueduct – Aqueduct is an online global database of local water risk indicators and a global standard for measuring and reporting geographic water risk. It assesses risk based on water supply and quality, regulatory pressure, governance, climate change, socio-economics, and many other factors.
The methods and tools explored in this analysis were selected based on the degree to which they are publically available and specifically designed to account for water use and discharge, as well as their applicability to a wide variety of geographic locations and industry sectors.