When it Comes to Water, Stakeholders Want to Know

By Daniel Stouffer

To help organizations become successful in their respective operations, compliance to various requirements from a number of entities from external associations, other organizations, individuals, and government sectors which have their own vested interests to the impacts of the corresponding operations would be a high priority. In terms of the use of water, stakeholders could have individual stakes on such matters, though these do not take any place on the center stage at the present circumstances.

Water stakeholders will be very interested in the company's policy and how it guides decisions regarding the procurement, use and disposal of this resource. The company's policy must be very clear as to how it communicates its strategies to these stakeholders and must reveal just how important the use of water is during the business process.

In order for any organization to operate successfully, it must satisfy the requirements of a disparate number of external entities. Each of these entities, sometimes individuals, sometimes associations, or companies or governments have a vested interest in one way or another in the impact of the company. This interest is often focused in individual areas. As it is one of the most important resources, water stakeholders need to take this matter seriously.

In terms of the availability of water, stakeholders would need to make sure that an organization is not using more than what it needs. They will want to know how company executives will address water related issues that may be beyond their immediate control. In other words, how will the company react if a severe drought impacts water availability in the region?

The risks would be potentially high, as a few of the water stakeholders could impose some terms and conditions upon any given organization under some circumstances. No company can afford to ignore environmental pressures. It is expected that there are key consumers who would place considerable pressure to try to compel companies to reduce energy use and consequent carbon footprint, but also to manage water use.

Key executives who are involved in strategic planning need to have good communication, which is most essential. Much effort should be put into the construction of a water footprint and to the revelation of any risks associated with water use and disposal. Feedback should be sought from water stakeholders including investors, community leaders, customers and government figures.

By initiating a proactive, two-way exchange of information and individual positions, company executives will be in a better position to strategize the way forward. Current issues will have to be readily identified which also needs plans to be laid out according to the desired outcomes. If an open form of communication is not maintained, there is a greater likelihood of disruption when and if an event occurs.

The most forward thinking organization understands how important it is to embrace water stakeholders, as actively as if they were key financial investors. The company should try and take a lead in water related issues locally, helping to provide education and awareness, leading a sustainability drive and being seen to be productively engaged.

From a risk assessment perspective, companies should consider the allocation of available funding to invest in technologies, schemes or efforts locally. The aim is to help improve water quality or availability locally. This will put the company in a position of strength in the eyes of its water stakeholders.


Article by Daniel Stouffer
Verisae delivers a range of sustainability solutions to clients globally with thousands of daily users including an extended network of third-party suppliers. Verisae's integrated sustainability platform offers advanced water management program begins with research which measures water usage "down to the last drop." Learn more at www.verisae.com/articles

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