Corporate-level water targets for withdrawals and discharges drive most water stewardship actions. The 2018 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report highlights that the number of companies setting targets to reduce water withdrawal has doubled since 2014. As the positive corporate water target-setting trend continues, it is imperative to establish targets and metrics that drive appropriate actions at corporate and facility levels while providing useful information to key stakeholders, such as investors, to enable well-informed decision-making.
An increasing number of companies are setting water withdrawal and discharge targets. However, only a small number of companies set targets or goals at multiple business levels, for example, at the facility level. Granularity in such information, especially as it relates to context-specific variables, and the relevance of such information as it relates to strategic and financial risk largely lacking.
Establishing well-informed and meaningful targets can drive the direction and pace of water stewardship activities among businesses. A metric for water circularity, for example, will enable a transition to circular water management that drives water efficiencies at scale. Water targets and circularity metrics also provide useful information to key stakeholders, such as investors, enabling better decision-making.
We are leading this work in collaboration with BIER (Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable), FEMSA Foundation, and the WBCSD Circular Economy program. Our aim is to develop, test and publish guidance on water circularity metrics for industry to enable leading water users to compare the water circularity performance of facilities in a quantifiable way and monitor the transition from linear to circular water management. We are also engaging on the Water Science Based Targets initiative to provide businesses with a consistent and robust approach to developing targets.