Disclosure report highlights scale of corporate water risk

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The 2016 corporate water disclosure report of CDP, the carbon disclosure project, highlights a five-fold increase in disclosure of water related impacts, equating to $14 billion. Over 25% of companies reported detrimental impacts from water this year.

Companies also reported that they expect 54% of the 4416 water risks they identified to materialise within the next six years.

CDP warned that the year-on-year disclosures showed that companies are not moving fast enough to address the sustainable management of water. Disclosure around key metrics such as tracking water use, assessing risk and ensuring strategic management show that performance has not improved markedly since last year.

CDP’s data show that the Paris climate agreement, which is now international law, will necessitate better management of water: 24% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction activities reported by businesses depend on a stable supply of good quality water, the company notes.

The report adds: ‘Encouragingly, however, over half of companies (53%) report that better water management is delivering GHG reductions, showing that water can potentially make – or break – the low-carbon transition.’

The report also identifies a ‘bright spot’ emerging in the increasing number of companies recognising the value of managing water more holistically. More are citing water stewardship as the basis for their water targets, CDP said, and 16 more companies than last year are on the Water A List, which highlights companies that are on the path to sustainably managing water resources.


  • CDP, water resources, risk