While some industries may not view water as a material topic in their sustainability reporting, there is a compelling business case for all organizations to prioritize water stewardship. Water scarcity, pollution, and inadequate access to clean water are global challenges that can directly impact businesses across all industries.

Understanding the business case for water stewardship can help organizations secure support from corporate leadership to mitigate water-related risks, reduce costs, enhance their reputation, and drive innovation.

Why Water? Why Now?

Water is a fundamental resource for all businesses, supporting a wide range of operations from manufacturing to agriculture and beyond. However, the importance of water stewardship is becoming increasingly critical due to several key factors.

Understanding these factors and their implications is crucial for businesses looking to thrive in an increasingly water-constrained world. By prioritizing water stewardship, companies can not only mitigate risks and reduce costs, but also enhance their performance and reputation, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Translating Water Action to Financial Benefits

To further illustrate the financial benefits of water stewardship, consider the following graphic. It plots key benefits of implementing water stewardship programs against the potential financial benefit. This visual representation highlights the potential financial gains that companies can achieve by prioritizing water stewardship in their operations.


  1. Compliance: Adhering to water regulations is essential for maintaining a license to operate. By ensuring compliance with these regulations, companies can avoid fines, penalties, and reputational damage associated with non-compliance, demonstrating their commitment to responsible business practices.
  2. Operational Efficiency: Improving water efficiency not only reduces water use but also lowers costs associated with water procurement and treatment. By investing in water-saving technologies and practices, companies can justify infrastructure investments, improve pricing competitiveness, and enhance their overall operational efficiency. Additionally, many water efficiency improvements and circular solutions come with the added benefits of reducing a company’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint.
  3. Risk Management: Water stewardship enhances planning and informs decision-making processes, allowing companies to proactively address water-related risks. By mitigating these risks, companies can reduce liabilities, lower insurance premiums, and minimize business disruptions caused by water scarcity or pollution incidents.
  4. Brand Reputation: Companies that prioritize water stewardship can attract and retain customers, investors, and talent who are increasingly concerned about environmental issues. This can lead to increased product demand, enhanced collaboration opportunities, and a stronger brand reputation in the market.
  5. Access to New Markets: Prioritizing water stewardship can open doors to new markets by attracting new investors and creating new revenue streams. Companies that focus on sustainable water management are also better positioned to develop products that meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly goods. Moreover, by aligning with sustainable practices, companies can satisfy the increasing demands and pressures from their supply chains.

By considering these aspects of water stewardship and their potential financial benefits, companies can make informed decisions and prioritize actions that not only benefit their bottom line but also contribute to sustainable water management. 

In conclusion, considering the business case for water stewardship can provide companies with a competitive edge in the market. By addressing water-related risks, improving operational efficiency, enhancing brand reputation, and ensuring compliance with regulations, companies can position themselves for long-term success while contributing to sustainable water management.

Interested in learning more about the business case for water stewardship? Connect with our team today!

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