The WBCSD Global Water Tool (GWT) is a free online module that helps companies compare their water use, wastewater discharge, and facility information with validated watershed and country-level data (based on nearly 30 external datasets on water availability, sanitation, population, and biodiversity information, among other things). This process is intended to allow companies to conduct an initial high-level assessment of relative water risks in order to identify risk “hotspots”. This initial assessment is meant to be followed by subsequent, more-detailed local assessments where appropriate. The GWT also generates key water metrics that describe water use, production intensity, and risk, as well as reporting indicators from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Water, Bloomberg, and Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) that help businesses report to their stakeholders about their water performance and risks. It also delivers charts and maps that can further help companies communicate with their stakeholders.

GWT was launched in 2007 under the leadership of WBCSD member CH2M HILL in close collaboration with a group of 21 other global companies and with expertise from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and GRI. Since then, WBCSD estimates that more than 300 companies worldwide have used the Tool.

Application

WBCSD Global Water Tool

Primary Functions
  • Fast and inexpensive first-tier risk screen that does not require company expertise
  • Provides simple inventory for companies to compile their water data
  • Does not assess risks related to water quality or water-related impacts
Assessing Water-Related Business Risks
  • Emphasizes place-based water metrics that contextualize company water use and that serve as the basis for understanding risk
  • Identifies “hotspots” by mapping facilities against external water and sanitation data
Understanding and Responding to Water Use and Quality Impacts
  • Does not characterize corporate water use or otherwise attempt to assess impacts
  • Does not assess water quality issues
Conveying Water Information to Stakeholders
  • Results of “hotspotting” are more frequently being included in CSR reports
  • Automatically calculates water-related GRI indicators to be used for CSR reports