Freshwater is becoming increasingly limited in a large part of the world. Growing population, increasing industrial and agricultural activities in new markets and pollution and climate change impacts are combining to put unprecedented stress on local water resources.
Water scarcity can lead to practical and business risks for a wide range of companies and sectors, including the cement industry. These risks can be addressed through the implementation of a comprehensive water management strategy, which can both mitigate water scarcity risks and provide benefits for stakeholder relations. In order to implement water management measures and to meet stakeholders’ expectations, water data need to be credible, relevant and easy to understand. This requires the consistent use of metrics, terminology and definitions.
The Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has developed this Protocol for Water Reporting (herein referred to as “the Protocol”) primarily for water reporting in cement plant operations, but which can also be used in aggregate installations and ready-mix concrete operations. Both the Protocol, which is presented in this document, and the CSI’s Guidance on Good Practices for Water Accounting detail metrics, terminology, definitions and guidance for water accounting and serve as a reference for CSI member companies as well as stakeholders. More specifically, the Protocol encompasses the site data required for disclosure and/or benchmarking based on the nature of operations. The Global Water Tool for the Cement Sector (GWT for Cement Sector) is a sector-based customization of the WBCSD Global Water Tool (GWT). It was developed to support member companies reporting the CSI Indicators for water, which are specified in the Protocol outlined below, in addition to other information detailing water measurement and recording.