The CEO Water Mandate, a United Nations Global Impact organization, along with partners World Resources Institute, Pacific Institute, CDP, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF, has released a new guide on setting water targets at the enterprise level, intended to help companies do their part to address shared water challenges—and to focus their efforts in the right high-priority places.
Setting Enterprise Water Targets: A Guide for Companies introduces a three-step process for how organizations can set water targets at the enterprise level that addresses the most material water-related risks in the places that matter the most across a company’s value chain.
A critical aspect of engaging in water stewardship is setting water targets that address the shared water challenges a company faces in the catchments where it operates, sources, and provides goods and services, and that enable actions that reduce or eliminate the associated water risks. Furthermore, water targets aligned with the shared water challenges a company faces are critical to future-proofing corporate value chains and building greater overall resilience in an ever-changing landscape of water-related risks.
This paper provides guidance, for the first time, on how to set enterprise water targets. The three-step process, introduced in the guide, can help practitioners to:
- Drive continuous improvement;
- Mitigate risk;
- Strengthen the social and legal license to operate at a site; and
- Align corporate action with public policy priorities for water.
Each step can be met through a series of actions to ensure that the water targets drive value across any section of a company’s value chain. These steps provide companies with a process for setting and updating targets in response to internal changes across the value chain (e.g., driven by company growth, mergers and acquisitions, divestments, or changes in procurement) and external changes in the catchment context (e.g., driven by changes in the social, environmental, or economic landscape).
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