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The State Of Global Corporate Water Strategies

Date: 04 January 2012

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21 pages, 18 figures

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Over the past two years, water management has become an increasingly visible issue within corporate sustainability. Whilst a few leading firms such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and SABMiller have widely publicised their ambitious agendas on water sustainability, there is a lack of evidence about the general state of corporate water strategies to date. Verdantix surveyed 100 senior executives in firms generating more than $1 billion revenues to capture the organizational maturity of water strategies in both water-intensive and non water-intensive firms. Verdantix heard that approaches to water management vary heavily according to the water intensity of a firm’s core business. In 2011, most firms perceive water issues as short-term risks, concentrating their efforts on compliance strategies. At the same time water stewardship, characterized by firms working beyond compliance requirements, is an immature area. Looking forwards, Verdantix found that most firms aim to realise tangible financial savings from their water strategies, while a leading minority of firms seek to demarcate themselves by targeting stewardship opportunities.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE STATE OF GLOBAL CORPORATE WATER STRATEGIES
Verdantix Surveyed 100 Corporate Executives Responsible For Water Strategies

MATURITY OF WATER STRATEGIES CORRELATES TO RISK EXPOSURE 
Water Rhymes With Risk Rather Than Opportunity For Most Firms
Regulatory And Financial Factors Are Primary Influences On Water Strategies
Accountability For Mature Water Practices Sits Below Board Level
Monitoring And Reporting Initiatives Support Drive For Efficiency 

NEXT GENERATION STRATEGIES WILL FOCUS ON COST REDUCTIONS
A Majority Of Firms Will Focus On Delivery Of Proven Initiatives 
Few Industry Leaders Will Target Water Stewardship

TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Water Intensity Categorization Of Industrial Sectors
Figure 2. Titles Of Respondents Interviewed
Figure 3. Firms Surveyed Operate Across 10 Countries
Figure 4. Firms Surveyed Span 20 Industry Sectors
Figure 5. Five Corporate Approaches To Water Management
Figure 6. Ranking Of Sustainable Business Issues By Importance
Figure 7. Drivers For The Development Of Water Initiatives
Figure 8. Factors Hindering The Development Of Water Initiatives
Figure 9. Maturity Of Documented Water Strategies
Figure 10. Maturity Of Water Reporting Practices
Figure 11. Accountability For Water Issues Across Sectors
Figure 12. Maturity Of Target Setting Practices
Figure 13. Quantification Of Financial Benefits Of Water Initiatives
Figure 14. Water Initiatives Implemented In 2011
Figure 15. Most Successful Measures Implemented In The Last Two Years
Figure 16. Tools Supporting Corporate Water Strategies
Figure 17. Drivers For The Development Of Water Strategies Over The Next Two Years
Figure 18. Priority Initiatives For The Next Two Years

ORGANIZATIONS MENTIONED

Aviva, BSR, Carbon Disclosure Project, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Danone, Diageo, Google, H&M, Heinz, IBM, IHS, Kimberly-Clark, Land Securities, Levi’s, L’Oreal, Merck, Mott MacDonald, PE International, PepsiCo, PUMA, Quantis, SABMiller, SAP, SEGRO, Unilever, United Nations Global Compact, US Environmental Protection Agency, Water Footprint Network