CDP: European companies need to share their water stress

CDP water stress
Energy and industrial companies stay behind in transparency. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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The report ‘State of play in corporate water stewardship’ shows water data of European companies. In 2015 the organisation CDP invited 299 European companies to respond questions on their water stress and what they are doing to preserve water. From 113 companies, only 38% responded, so in order to gain more insight European companies need to share their data.

About 61% of the respondents in the study identified water as a risk for their business. Only half of the European companies that report on their water impacts are taking active steps to comprehensively understand and manage the associated risks and opportunities linked with water. As a result, water security is not improving at the rate required to meet the Paris goals, nor are European companies building the resilience they need to deal with the water impacts they will inevitably face.

Threats
CDP Head of Water Cate Lamb states: “In many regions in Europe (water) is coming under increased pressure, in particular from economic activities.” The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to protect, enhance and restore all bodies of surface and ground water with the objective of achieving ‘good ecological status’. The achievement of EU water policy goals is threatened however by a number of challenges, including water pollution, water abstraction for high consuming activities such as agriculture and energy production, land use change and the impacts of climate change. The outlook could be better.

Energy and industry
Especially energy and industrial companies are not participating in the study. Last year only 13% and 16% of these companies replied to the CDP-questions. According to CDP the lack of transparency is worrying because most of the companies do realise they are vulnerable and their operations are at risk because of water stress.

Europe was leading
In 2015 CDP stated European companies are more aware of water risks than their global peers. This is the conclusion of the latest CDP report on Safeguarding Europe’s water resources. A lot of respondents to the CDP survey experienced water stress last year and are aware the of weak water situation on their continent. Worldwide respondents seem less informed and less engaged.

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