CDP is proud to present the results from the fourth year of water reporting by the world’s largest listed corporations. It was an impressive year.
In 2013, 530 institutional investors representing approximately US$57 trillion in assets and a number of major purchasing organizations called for greater transparency on corporate water issues from 1,036 companies. 593 companies from Antofagasta to Hewlett-Packard and L’Oreal to Unilever responded; a 59% increase since last year. This analysis and report is presented to provide those investors and purchasers with insight on the adequacy of the corporate response to water issues.
In this report, CDP and Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte) present results of the analysis based on the water disclosures of 184 Global 500 corporations3 that participated this year; a 60% response rate. Together, these corporations account for approximately 11 billion megaliters of water withdrawals per year, enough to provide 50 liters of water per day to the world’s current population of approximately 7 billion people for nearly 82 years. Over 90% of these companies now have water management plans in place, and companies report more than 1,300 actions, targets and goals to reduce their impact on water resources, and thus their exposure to water risks.
Although there are signs of progress in addressing corporate water risks, challenges remain. This report is divided into two parts. The first presents the investor case for water stewardship and the benefits that investors, corporations and policy makers can secure through reducing risk, increasing business resilience and safeguarding water resources. The second half provides insight into how corporations are responding to water risks and striving towards better water stewardship.
This report finds that business as usual is often embedded in corporate water strategy and that a significant shift in approach is required to avoid large scale value destruction. It concludes with a call to action for investors and policy makers to assist and guide companies to move rapidly beyond existing practice, to establish regular engagement with stakeholders and lead a collaborative approach to safeguard water as a vital shared resource to contribute to sustainable revenue generation and a more resilient future.