A finalised set of corporate water disclosure guidelines should be published in the first half of 2014, the United Nations
The UN, which has been developing the guidelines under the auspices of its CEO Water Mandate initiative, came up with a ‘public exposure draft’ in 2012, since when a number of companies have been piloting their use.
Now the UN has decided to conduct an online survey to find out how they have been working in practice. Any lessons learned will be used to refine the guidelines later this year, with publication of a final working version expected in ‘early 2014’.
The UN says the guidelines will provide ‘the first ever common approach to corporate water disclosure’ and are designed ‘to address the complexity of water resources in a comprehensive yet concise and practical manner’.
The online survey has been set up to ‘garner feedback’ on the public exposure draft and to provide suggestions as to how to ‘refine and finalise’ the guidelines. Responses are being sought not just from companies that are using the guidelines but also from external audiences who have been monitoring the results. Anonymous submissions are being allowed.
The guidelines will show companies how to collect and report data on the current state of their water management practices, and will provide advice on assessing the implications of this information for the business, developing a ‘strategic response’, and then reporting the information to stakeholders.
The UN said the guidelines are being produced due to concerns that as more and more companies report on water-related information, many are doing so in ways that are inconsistent from company to company and from year to year. It hopes the guidelines will offer a framework that encourages ‘more comparable and robust’ corporate water reporting.
The guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the Pacific Institute, the Carbon Disclosure Project, PricewaterhouseCoopers, World Resources Institute, and the Global Reporting Initiative.
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