Water is essential to all life and sits at the heart of our efforts to feed and power our societies and economies globally. Sustainable water management and stewardship allows populations to survive, companies to prosper, and for natural ecosystems to provide essential services for society. Our work contributes to driving alignment, accelerate ambition, action and accountability for water stewardship, as part of our members approach to Nature Positive.
More than 50% of major listed companies are exposed some level of water stress across their value chain (1). These risks include but are not limited to, pollution of ground water, vulnerability to flooding, and sea level rise. Currently, the world is far off track to meet SDG 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is detrimental to business, society and our environment, where the cost of maintaining the status quo outweighs the investment required to secure water sources and handle wastewater treatments effectively.
1. CERES (2022)
The need for companies to urgently address water impacts and dependencies is clear, with the release of Science Based Targets for Freshwater, Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), as well as the inclusion of inland water as part of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), raising the expectation for business to play their part: to set ambitious freshwater targets, accelerate basin-level action and be held accountable for their commitments, progress and impact.
In an effort to increase awareness and adoption of sustainable water strategy, WBCSD has developed resources to guide companies on their journey through the water stewardship space, e.g. Wastewater Impact Assessment Tool (WIAT), Business guidance on the assessment of wastewater-related impacts, CEO Guide to Water , Wastewater Zero, coming soon the Freshwater Accountability Navigator (FAN) and the public-private action-oriented platform: 50L Home.