World Business Council for Sustainable Development – Water for Business

Initially released in 2009 by the WBCSD and the IUCN, Water for Business is the first online guide specifically designed to help businesses manage water more sustainably by providing them with an overview of water tools and initiatives which they can use or engage with.

The third edition of this online guide was developed in collaboration with IUCN and SustainAbility.

Purpose and scope of the guide

The purpose is to help businesses and key stakeholders identify water tools and initiatives that will best meet their specific needs, and ensure the sustainability of our water resources. More specifically, it aims to:

  • Provide an overview of water initiatives, so that readers understand “who is doing what;”
  • Develop a common language for business on water and sustainability;
  • Facilitate business engagement in relevant initiatives and uptake of tools accelerating action;
  • Enable the identification of risks and opportunities, gaps and complementarities;
  • Help water tool developers increase their impact through consensus building and joint action.


This report is organized into four main sections:

  1. Key messages: conclusions and lessons learned from updating the Water for Business guide.
  2. Understanding water management: summaries of the five stages of water management, and the key functions within a corporation where information about water management is becoming more relevant. For each stage and function, it recommends various tools that can be used to enhance sustainable water management practices.
  3. Initiative factsheets: overviews of specific water initiatives, enabling businesses to compare and contrast them as effectively as possible, and to find out where to go for more information. The scope of this report is by no means exhaustive.
  4. Glossary: key terms and definitions in the area of water management.

For more on this click here.

Mark Harper
Author: Mark Harper
Mark was project manager of China Water Risk for 2013. Articles written under his tenure are those of China Water Risk. Mark has worked for nearly a decade managing corporate/NGO partnerships focused on environmental engagement and corporate sustainability. He was previously the programme manager for Earthwatch Institute and Flora & Fauna International. Mark has extensive experience organizing hands-on conservation and educational projects for corporates, schools and communities. He has lived and worked in Sri Lanka, Oxford, Hong Kong, Boston and London. Separately, Mark actively pursues his interest in environmental conservation, by volunteering to monitor great white sharks in California to conducting research on rhino census in South Africa. Mark believes that change is only possible through the collective action of the corporate and investment communities.
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