Gains in Corporate Water Management Stall

Nov. 22, 2016
Annual survey shows lack of significant progress

Water-related impacts on industry are significant, judging from the results of the 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure, issued in November by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), London. Titled “Thirsty Business: Why Water is Vital to Climate Action,” the report summarizes responses solicited by CDP on behalf of 643 institutional investors representing $67 trillion in assets. The seventh such report, it notes the 607 companies responding had $14 billion in such impacts this year, a five-fold increase from last year’s survey. Over a quarter of respondents suffered from water issues in 2016. Moreover, companies expect more than half the water risks they identified to materialize within the next six years.

The 607 companies represent 48% of the 1,252 firms that CDP solicited for inputs, an increase from the 38% response last year when 405 out of 1,073 responded.

Disclosures on key metrics indicate no marked progress since last year, leading CDP to conclude that companies are not moving fast enough to sustainably manage water.

However, the report does note that more firms are tackling water issues on a more comprehensive, holistic basis — using water stewardship to set their water targets.

CDP stresses that the signing of the Paris Accord will necessitate better water management by companies. (For information on some current corporate initiatives on climate change related to the Paris Accord, see: “Business Efforts Bolster Climate Accord.”)

Download the CDP report.

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