PwC on Sustainability

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September 2014

What does corporate water disclosure mean to your business?

Clean, consistent water supply — it's essential for businesses to operate—and investors, consumers, and other stakeholders know it. They’re demanding more information on how companies are using—and conserving-- this critical resource, which presents both challenges and opportunities to companies. So what do you need to know?

PwC has been advising the UN’s CEO Water Mandate on developing guidelines for corporate water disclosures in an effort to create a more common approach to reporting water issues. The guidelines improve the ability of stakeholder audiences to evaluate a company’s water practices and make comparisons across companies, but there are material benefits to your business as well.

Calculating water’s value to your organization can better prepare you for long-term decision making across the business, including the opportunity to innovate. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Value at risk. Where is your organization most vulnerable to the risk of water scarcity, and what is the potential economic impact? Is your company in compliance with regulatory requirements?
  • Total cost of water. Are you taking into account all the costs associated with your water usage? The procurement price of water may be low, but are you tallying transport, treatment, and discharge costs?
  • Opportunities. Does the true cost of water suggest that you should focus on innovation? What if you could eliminate the need for water from certain production processes or invent products that would help your customers use less water?

Visit the UN’s website to read the CEO Water Mandate guidelines in detail, and check out our recent article on CFO.com about the value at risk if companies can’t access the water they need.


 

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