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New Report: Global Companies Face Serious Water Supply Risks, But Do Not Do Enough to Mitigate Them

A new report published today by CDP reveals that 68% of FTSE Global 500 company respondents say they are facing substantive water risks, with 22% anticipating that these water risks could limit the growth of their business. Some 25% of U.S. respondent companies have experienced water-related business impacts in the past year.

Unsurprisingly, CDP’s Global Water Report 2014 found that by far the largest driver of water risk for companies is threat to its physical supply due to water stress, scarcity, or declining quality. Other risks include flooding and regulatory uncertainty.

The report’s finding of greatest concern, however, is that the companies as a whole are not taking these threats seriously enough. The report highlights the following statistics:

  • Some 60% of responding companies fail to carry out comprehensive water risk assessments, and a similar percentage of respondents do not require their key suppliers to disclose water risks.

  • Only 25% of respondents undertake risk assessments at the river basin scale.

  • 29% of respondents have been subject to significant water-related penalties or fines.

The good news, however, is that companies are making changes to enable them to face their water challenges. Some 62% now place responsibility for water issues at the board level, and 82% report setting goals and targets for mitigating water risks.

The report was produced by CDP, an international NGO that collects the world’s largest set of company-reported environmental data. A summary of the 2014 Global Water Report’s findings can be found here. The full report is here.


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