Incorporate water considerations into core business strategies and functions
Integrate water management into business strategy
- Incorporate water into business’ risk assessment processes
- Develop comprehensive water policy and strategy
- Set targets for water-related KPIs
- Respond to water risks proactively and systematically
- Raise water awareness within company
Like most corporate sustainability practices, water stewardship is most effective and most valuable when it is systematically integrated into your business strategy, rather than tacked on as a CSR or philanthropy function outside of the business’ core activities. For many businesses, water is such an important input into its operations and those of its suppliers, that a strategy to ensure sufficient and consistent supplies of it is not only helpful, but arguably required for long-term business viability. Having a strategy and policy in places help ensure you have the water and license to operate needed over the long-term.
In practice, integrating water management into business strategy means many things, including (but not limited to):
- Setting water-related performance targets
- Creating accountability measures and incentives for water-related goals among upper management
- Establishing a water task force among upper management to track and address water issues over time and bring them to the board as needed
- Developing water assessment and action policies that are applied across a company’s facilities and operations
A company’s water strategy and policy will certainly differ from company to company. Ultimately, the most effective strategies enable you to understand how your company relates to water; to track changes and trends over time; and to respond in an effective, timely, and coherent manner. The most effective strategies grow from a dynamic understanding of your specific water risks and impacts and are tailored to identify these issues and prioritize them over other water issues that are of lesser importance to your business and stakeholders.
The Ceres Aqua Gauge offers a helpful framework for developing a water strategy, among other things.