The UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate initiative has released the finalized Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines – a common approach for companies to effectively disclose the many elements of their corporate water management practice to key stakeholders.
The new guidance – developed by the CEO Water Mandate and its Co-Secretariat, the Pacific Institute, in collaboration with CDP, Global Reporting Initiative, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and World Resources Institute – aims to harmonize reporting approaches, and minimize reporting burdens so companies spend more time actively managing water. This work is the product of a multi-year, highly-collaborative effort, informed not only by project partners with expertise in water resources and corporate reporting, but also by business representatives, civil society organizations, and UN agencies.
According to Peter Schulte of the Pacific Institute and lead author, the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines “accomplish two necessary objectives: advance metrics and qualitative approaches that provide meaningful information about corporate water practice and drive convergence among company reporting so that they are more comparable and easier for report audiences to understand. The collaborative, iterative process in which they were developed also help to ensure the guidance is accessible and feasible for companies, while remaining meaningful for their stakeholders”.
In response to the growing importance to businesses of water management and water disclosure more specifically, the Guidelines address the ways companies, measure their water performance, assess conditions in the river basins where they operate, Understand their water-related risks, impacts, and opportunities, Develop effective water management strategies and Communicate these issues to stakeholders
Measure What Matters aims to bring greater alignment between corporate, national and global metrics of ‘success’ in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable and fair economies. The initiative is led by the Green Economy Coalition, in collaboration with GRI and other partners.
Measure What Matters is currently running an online global dialogue in order to understand the case for aligning water reporting measurement frameworks across different levels of operation (global, national, corporate, local), and to gather practical recommendations on how greater alignment can be achieved. The dialogue will collate perspectives from business, civil society, policy makers, and researchers.