Footprinting key to firms saving water

18th March 2014


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  • Adaptation ,
  • Management ,
  • EMS ,
  • Reporting

Author

Scott Doxford

Companies need to better understand how their operations use water and the risks posed by scarcity, advises consultancy Context

After examining how multinationals, such as Unilever and PepsiCo, are reducing water consumption Context has identified seven “critical steps” for organisations wanting to tackle the risks posed by water scarcity.

In a free booklet, the consultancy advises firms to first understand exactly how their operations use water and how much is consumed, as well as the local water risks, in order to identify the most appropriate water management strategy. Companies must consider reputational and regulatory risks alongside the operational risks posed by lack of water, states the guide.

After implementing measures, companies must then report the results, both positive and negative, if they are to learn lessons and reduce water consumption in future, it concludes.

The consultancy also advises organisations to communicate what they are doing to manage water risk to investors and to consider collaborating with other organisations where possible.

“While some businesses acknowledge the potential risks, most are unclear on what to do, let alone on where to start,” says Peter Knight, chair of Context. “It’s clear that [leading companies] are quick to acknowledge and tackle their risks. They work hard to listen, understand, learn and then act with purpose. Wallflowers will either die from drought or drown in the flood.”

Context’s quick guide to water management includes links to online tools to help firms assess water risks across their operations and supply chains, as well as case studies detailing water saving initiatives from IKEA, Unilever and PepsiCo.


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