The CEO Water Mandate is currently focused on four primary areas:

  1. Responsible Policy Engagement and Collective Action
  2. Water and Human Rights
  3. Corporate Water Disclosure
  4. Water Stewardship in the Supply Chain

How to Get Involved

All CEO Water Mandate endorsers are invited to participate in these focus areas through the associated working groups. To join one or more of the working groups, please contact Peter Schulte at

Key Projects & Milestones in the Focus Areas

The collective action focus area facilitates partnerships that support sustainable water management in river basins around the world. Work in this area has sought to define key principles for action, assist companies and others in identifying strategic actions, and connect potential partners with shared water goals.
  • 2010 – The Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy provides principles, concepts, practical steps, and case examples that facilitate companies' responsible engagement with water policy to reduce business risks through sustainable water management.
  • 2012 – The Mandate launched the Water Action Hub, an online platform that connects businesses, government agencies, and other stakeholders seeking collaborative solutions to global and local water challenges. Hub users can search a global database of water stewardship projects and potential partners. Since its launch, the Hub has attracted interest and participation from a wide range of organizations around the world. The Hub now has nearly 900 individual users representing 350 organizations and 178 projects globally. Join the Water Action Hub by creating a profile today at
  • 2013 – The Guide to Water-Related Collective Action outlines best practices to establish enduring relationships with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and make progress toward shared water goals.
  • Next – The Mandate and the Water Integrity Network are leading the development of a collaborative, applied research project that seeks to develop an integrity management framework with practical supporting guidance and tools to ensure high levels of integrity and transparency in multi-stakeholder water stewardship initiatives (WSIs).
These projects are overseen by the Mandate's Collective Engagement Working Group (CEWG). For more information relating to this focus area, please contact Stefanie Woodward, Advisor, CEO Water Mandate, at +1-510-251-1600 or
The water and human rights focus area helps companies deliver on their responsibly to respect the human rights to water and sanitation, and when appropriate, to assist them in fulfilling these rights. To date, this work has largely consisted of research and guidance that helps companies better understand the issues and the actions needed.
  • 2011 – The UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council agreed to resolutions affirming the Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) as a right equal to all other human rights. In response, the Mandate Secretariat amended the initiative's founding document, The CEO Water Mandate, to acknowledge these resolutions. Mandate endorsers and stakeholders alike recognized that there is a corporate responsibility to conduct business operations consistent with the right to water, but expressed a need to define what it means in practice for a company to act consistently with this right and how to operationalize it on the ground.
  • 2012 – The Mandate responded by developing Bringing a Human Rights Lens to Corporate Water Stewardship: Results of Initial Research in collaboration with Shift, the nonprofit center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This report summarizes initial research to understand international and national legal trends relating to the rights to water and sanitation, illustrates current challenges that businesses face in respecting this right and the perspectives of potentially affected communities, and identifies areas of potential synergy with companies' existing water stewardship efforts.
  • 2015 – In partnership with Shift and drawing on Oxfam America's extensive subject matter expertise, the Mandate released Guidance for Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, which helps companies translate their responsibility to respect the human rights to water and sanitation into their existing water management systems, operations, and company cultures; and complements efforts to clarify the obligations and responsibility of other actors with regards to the rights to water and sanitation.
This work is overseen by the Mandate's Human Rights Working Group (HRWG). For more information relating to this focus area, please contact Mai-Lan Ha, Advisor, CEO Water Mandate, at +1-510-251-1600 or
The water disclosure focus area is concerned with helping companies to establish a meaningful dialogue with their stakeholders about their water practices, thereby creating trust, accountability, and effective action. So far, this work has largely consisted of defining key terms and identifying and promoting harmonized metrics and qualitative approaches that support effective reporting and communication.
  • 2009 – The Mandate published Water Disclosure 2.0, an analysis of corporate water disclosure approaches and trends. Ultimately, this work aimed to understand the state-of-play and thereby identify key gaps in reporting and help some companies identify helpful reporting practices.
  • 2014 – The Mandate published Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines in collaboration with key strategic partners PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), CDP, World Resources Institute, and Global Reporting Initiative. This project brought together and built on the experiences of water-disclosure-related initiatives to advance a common, globally relevant approach to corporate water disclosure. These guidelines:
    • Offer widely agreed upon definitions for key terms such as "water risk", "water scarcity", "water stress", among others.
    • Offer common corporate water disclosure metrics that can begin to harmonize practice
    • Provide guidance for aligning water disclosure to stakeholder expectations
  • Next – The Mandate is developing the Interactive Database of the World's River Basins, which offers a harmonized lexicon and boundary delineations for the world's major river basins to make companies' location-specific reporting more meaningful. In 2015 and 2016, the Mandate will seek to promote widespread use of the Guidelines and incorporate them into existing reporting and sustainability frameworks in order to maximize their reach. The Mandate may also seek to expand the content of the Guidelines, especially to better address reporting against the expected Sustainable Development Goals.
This work is overseen by the Mandate's Water Disclosure Working Group (WDWG). For more information relating to this focus area, please contact Peter Schulte, Advisor, CEO Water Mandate, at +1-206-257-5251 or

The Mandate’s newest focus area is improving the effectiveness of supply chain water stewardship strategies. Launching in 2015, work in this focus area will make corporate water stewardship principles and water risk assessment tools more accessible to extended supply chains, facilitate collective action in strategic geographies via the Water Action Hub, and reduce water-related risks and impacts of farms, manufacturing facilities, and other supply chain sites.

This work is overseen by the Mandate’s Supply Chain Working Group (SCWG). For more information relating to this focus area, please contact Heather Rippman, Advisor, CEO Water Mandate, at +1-510-251-1600 or