Water Watch is a first-of-its kind tool which ranks over 200 industrial activities, including apparel, biotech, health care and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, agriculture, infrastructure, materials, power generation, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, transportation and services, according to their potential impact on water resources – both water quantity and water quality.
This is the only analysis of this granularity that exists for assessing the relative impact of different industrial activities on the world’s water resources.
Achieving a water secure future will require a complete transformation of our global economy and the business and financial models that sit at the heart of it. The time for business-as-usual is over. Water Watch - CDP’s Water Impact Index, shows that a wide variety of industrial activities have a critical impact on water resources globally. These are the activities that must be transformed, if we are to succeed in building resilience quickly. We hope that this tool will provide companies and investors with a clearer understanding of their impact on the worlds rivers, lakes aquifers and streams, and equip them with the information required to trigger the transformation needed.Cate Lamb, Global Director of Water Security at CDP
See a snapshot of the potential impact of your investment and/or lending portfolios on water resources. Identify and engage with risky sectors and businesses and identify the pressing issues facing the sectors you finance.
Use the tool to analyse and assess the potential impact of different parts of your business and value chains on water.
The tool is a great launching point for understanding water-related risks for particular industries and companies. In my opinion, it presents more comprehensive and industry-specific considerations related to water compared to more sustainability-focused guidance provided by other organisations.Hayley McCurdy, Research Analyst, Terra Alpha Investments
The tool makes a qualitative assessment of impact on freshwater resources at different stages of the value chain, based on independent and trusted academic, scientific and and industry-recognized sources. Its focus on environmental impact distinguishes it from tools that measure business risks posed by water. However, there is an interplay between environmental impact and business risk: a company that undertakes an industrial activity that has a high impact on the water environment tends to be exposed to greater risk.
CDP has over 200 industrial activities within its classification system, these are based on the Bloomberg Industry Classification Systems (BICS).
For each activity, the tool ranks for the three key stages of the value chain: direct operations, supply chain and product use. At each stage, it ranks for two things: (1) the dependence of the activity on high volumes of freshwater withdrawal or consumption; (2) the water pollution or degradation potential of the activity. This gives six impact rankings for each industrial activity, ranging from 0 “no impact”) to 3 (“high impact”). These are then summed into an overall impact rank for the industrial activity between 0 and 18.
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