Water lags behind CO2 in boardrooms

12th December 2011


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More of the world's leading companies are considering the risks posed to their operations by access to water, but their concern lags far behind that about managing carbon emissions

The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) second global water disclosure report reveals only 57% of the 190 FTSE 500 companies surveyed ensure board-level responsibility is taken for water management, despite the fact that 59% agree their firm is at risk from water shortages and floods, and 38% have already been affected.

By contrast, a similar CDP survey revealed that in 94% of FTSE 500 firms polled, the board takes responsibility for climate change plans.

CDP chief executive Paul Simpson warned: “We need more companies to understand that water is a critical issue, requiring board-level attention.”

Defra minister Richard Benyon told a recent Aldersgate Group event that he believes water is going to be the next big environmental concern for organisations.

“If you are a company and you are not looking at water, then you are risking your whole business model,” he said.

Ben Piper, from construction firm Atkins’ environment and water management team, agrees: “Water scarcity has become increasingly important, and companies of all sizes need to understand and take much more seriously the risks posed to their business.”

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