Untreated or partially treated wastewater poses a major threat to the quality of the world’s freshwater resources and causes negative impacts on human health, ecosystems and biodiversity, economic activity and global development. Industrial wastewater is part of the broader wastewater issue. Therefore, business action driven by understanding and managing the impacts is critical to addressing this situation.
The Wastewater Impact Guidance for business provides an approach for measuring the impacts of wastewater on climate, biodiversity and water security. It provides a standardized pathway for companies to measure, value and manage the impacts from wastewater generated by their sites or the sites of their suppliers. It builds upon existing knowledge and resources and companies can apply it in combination with other tools and initiatives.
Three sets of independent metrics are proposed for the calculation of impact. The metrics are there to guide the evaluation of the impact of action in facilities and supply chains as well as to monitor progress on Wastewater Zero commitments.
As the impacts of wastewater management get more attention, the use of the business guidance will help companies prepare for upcoming developments in impact assessment and disclosure.