Understanding and Linking Components of the Framework
This section provides guidance on the Detailed Disclosure pillar of the Disclosure Framework. This pillar comprises the 11 information areas that should ideally be addressed in a company’s water disclosure. The framework is not intended to indicate what elements of corporate water management and disclosure are most important or the order in which companies should address them. Rather, it offers a way to categorize and understand the many types of water-related information that companies report.
Basic and Advanced Reporting
The guidance provided in this section is divided into basic and advanced practices. While basic practice provides a good starting point for companies with limited experience in water management, advanced practice represents the full range of information that companies ideally report. However, some companies, depending on their size and the importance of water to the business and stakeholders, may not deem it necessary or valuable to implement this full range of practices.
Advanced practices are inclusive of basic practices. In other words, advanced reporters disclose practices listed in both basic and advanced categories. Some companies, particularly SMEs or those for which water is only marginally significant, may opt to focus on reporting the information suggested for Company Water Profiles (see Section 3), and disregard basic and advanced practices altogether. In fact, some basic practices are included as Profile Metrics in Section 3: Company Water Profile. The table below summarizes the basic and advanced disclosure practices discussed in this section.
Summary of Basic and Advanced Reporting Practices
Geographic/Geopolitical Scale of Reporting
Many aspects of Detailed Disclosure call for companies to report actions, risks, impacts, etc., for specific geographic or geopolitical regions, as opposed to their global operations. For example, a company might report that it faces water risk due to ineffective water governance in a specific country, or perhaps discuss the water use efficiency of all its facilities in a specific river basin. The most appropriate and helpful scale for a region depends on a variety of factors, including the availability of data, the intended audience, and the nature of the challenge faced or action implemented. Below is a list geographic and geopolitical scales at which water-related information can be reported and a description of when each might be most appropriate and useful.
- River basins. Companies at times report at the river basin level when a water-related challenge or action is in response to hydrological or environmental issues that face an entire river basin.
- Subbasins. Since water-related challenges can vary widely across entire river basis, the most insightful water-related reporting aggregates data by subbasin.
- Aquifers. At times, water-related challenges and responses are focused around groundwater sources rather than surface water. In these instances, companies may want to report using aquifer boundaries as opposed to river basins.
- Geopolitical. Companies can also report water-related information around national boundaries.