New publication makes the case for business to engage in water valuation

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched a new publication that demonstrates the business case for companies to engage in water valuation. "Water Valuation: Building the business case" paves the way towards the integration of true water values and true water costs into decision-making.

Business and society as a whole tend to use water without realizing its real value and often take the resource itself and the services it provides for granted. However, water availability is increasingly limited. Globally, water resources are constant, but if current trends continue, water demand is predicted to increase by 55% worldwide between 2000 and 2050, with some industries increasing much more, such as manufacturing by 400% and electricity production by 140% (OECD, 2012). Business as usual is simply not an option and reversing this trend is imperative as water resources will not allow for such growth without an increase in the productivity of water use.

This is where business has a role to play. By assessing the value of the water they use in their operations, companies can better inform management actions and limit wasteful practices. Among other benefits, water valuation can actually help companies maintain and enhance revenues, reduce costs, manage risks or enhance reputation.

Water Valuation: Building the business case reviews the different internal and external drivers for companies to value water. It also details the different arguments for companies to engage in valuation and highlights the different applications for water valuation in business decision-making. It is based on a review of 21 business case studies that illustrate why and how different companies have carried out valuation studies.

“I deeply believe that progressive businesses need to look at their externalities so as to understand and manage their impacts and dependencies on natural resources, and the way these interact with societies and economies.” says Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD. “I strongly encourage all companies to start tackling this issue, accounting for the real value of the water they are using, and to do it now, before it is too late.”

This publication is a first response to Vision 2050, a WBCSD report that lays out a pathway leading to a world where 9 billion people live well, within the limits of the planet, by 2050 (WBCSD, 2010). Water Valuation: Building the business case paves the path towards the integration of true water values and true water costs into decision-making.

About the Author
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment.

From its starting point in 1992 to the present day, the Council has created respected thought leadership on business and sustainability. The Council plays the leading advocacy role for business. Leveraging strong relationships with stakeholders, it helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.

The Council provides a forum for its 200 member companies - who represent all business sectors, all continents and combined revenue of over $US 7 trillion - to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.

Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect CSR Manager's editorial policy.
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