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Context-Based Water Metrics: What Makes Them Meaningful

Various assessments, from Rockström to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, indicate that our water resources are nearing local and global system thresholds. As water scarcity, deteriorating water quality, and the complexity of water governance continue to increase, water-related risks grow increasingly material to businesses. Corporate dependencies upon limited common pool water resources are rendering traditional strategies focused primarily on universal, operational water use efficiency and pollution reduction ineffective as companies and investors seek to mitigate growing water risks. More specifically, mitigating these risks will require businesses to incorporate broader context-specific water information and global initiatives like the SDGs into business metrics and ultimately, targets. This session explored the current thinking behind what (and what does not) constitutes a context-based water metric and how they can be made more meaningful for businesses, investors and other interested stakeholders. The session also unpacked how emerging efforts are advancing the thinking in this space and helping businesses move towards more meaningful water metrics.

Stephanie Bertels, Embedding Project

Rylan Dobson, Rylan Dobson Consulting

Mark McElroy, Center for Sustainable Organizations

Paul Reig, World Resources Institute

Valeria Orozco, Nestle Waters North America

Eliza Roberts, Ceres

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