About the CEO Water Mandate
The CEO Water Mandate is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Global Compact, providing a multi-stakeholder platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of corporate water sustainability policies and practices. The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with over 7000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from more than 140 countries. The UN Global Compact is based on ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
About the Guide
The CEO Water Mandate’s Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy (Guide to Responsible Engagement) defines responsible engagement as “corporate water management initiatives that involve interaction with government entities; local communities; and/or civil society organizations with the goal of advancing: 1) responsible internal company management of water resources within direct operations and supply chains in line with policy imperatives and 2) the sustainable and equitable management of the catchment in which companies and their suppliers operate.” The case for responsible engagement is built on the premise that water-related risks are shared among government entities, businesses, communities, and the environment. Success in responsible engagement is thus critically tied to effective collective action among all parties with a stake in sustainable water management at the relevant scale—local, regional, national, or international.
The Guide to Responsible Engagement presents five principles that foster effective, sustainable, and equitable external engagements related to water. These principles, which apply equally to water-related collective actions, will bolster the credibility and effectiveness of a company’s collective action engagements, and should thus frame the use of this Guide and the implementation of related engagements.
This Guide presents several case examples of collective action that have resulted in substantial water-related risk reduction and stewardship enhancements for both individual companies and a full range of interests within a watershed. This Guide also addresses the reality that effective collective action requires establishing nonconventional relationships with nontraditional partners, and involves a commitment to shared goals and the recognition of the potential for trade- offs between company interests and broader public benefits.
The Guide to Water-Related Collective Action speaks directly to these opportunities and challenges by providing a stepwise approach to collective action preparation. It will help a company connect the right topics with the right people in an engagement process that is appropriately structured to optimize the collective efforts and impact of all participants.