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Companies quizzed on water risks awareness

Author: Financial Times, Published on: 13 November 2010

A decade after launching a global initiative to encourage companies to report on their carbon emissions, the Carbon Disclosure Project has turned its attention to another vital resource – water. On Friday it launched the Water Disclosure Project, which asked 302 of the world’s largest companies for information on their water use and other water-related business issues on behalf of 137 institutional investors representing $16,000bn in assets…As with the CDP, the number of companies questioned and the number of investors asking for the information are expected to rise over time. The CDP launched the water project partly in response to pressure from investors for more information on the issue but also because of a long-held belief within the organisation that water is a crucial factor for businesses…Sectors reporting the greatest exposure to water risks include food, beverage and tobacco and metals and mining, with chemicals and technology and communications the least exposed. Physical risks to direct operations from drought and flooding are most frequently cited, but companies also recognise risks from changing regulations and reputational damage…Unlike carbon, which has global impacts regardless of where it is emitted, “water is a global issue, but a local resource”, says Gregory Wade, global chief supply chain officer for brewer Molson Coors. There appears to be a greater awareness of water risks than there was about carbon when the CDP started, with 96 per cent of respondents aware of water risks in their own supply chains. [also refers to Anglo American, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, GE, PG&E and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing]

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Related companies: Anglo American Colgate-Palmolive Ford General Electric Molson Coors PG&E Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC)