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WBCSD Launches Reports on Water Valuation by Business

29 October 2012: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) published two reports outlining the importance of water valuation for companies and presenting business case studies. The report on water valuation notes that while business often takes water for granted, the valuation of water helps manage risks, reduce costs and increase revenues.

The report, titled “Water Valuation: Building the Business Case,” includes sections on: water valuation – a growing issue for business; the relationship between business and water; increasing demand, dwindling supply and climate change; the trend towards valuing water; key challenges and responses; applications for water valuation in business decision making; the business case for water valuation; when should businesses undertake water valuation; and what happens after valuation.

The report outlines benefits of valuation, including: improving sustainable decision making, enhancing mindsets; improving pricing; focusing product development; informing social and environmental liabilities and insurance premiums; assessing risk; and demonstrating leadership in sustainability.

Among key challenges the report identifies: confusing terminology; the complexity of the hydrological cycle; water quantity and quality issues; abstraction, in-stream and water-related habitat values; different stakeholder perspectives; difficulties in valuation; lack of incentives to value externalities; and ethical issues.

The report, titled “Water Valuation: Business Case Study Summaries,” presents case studies from, inter alia, Anglo American, Antofagasta, the Dow Chemical Company, EDF, Hitachi, Holcim, PUMA and Rio Tinto. [WBCSD Press Release] [Publication: Water Valuation: Building the Business Case] [Publication: Water Valuation: Business Case Study Summaries]