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 has worked for over a decade in the field of corporate sustainability and environmental engagement. At JS&S Hong Kong, Mark is responsible for managing the Group’s ESG disclosures as well as advising operating companies on their own ESG submissions. In addition to his work on reporting Mark is also responsible for assisting the Group on policy and strategy development. Mark has extensive experience of ESG disclosure standards such as GRI and the Hong Kong Exchange ESG Reporting Guide, as well as conducting sector focused benchmarking studies, corporate environmental management, as well as organizing hands-on corporate citizenship and CSR training programmes. Mark worked in a number of senior management roles before joining JS&S Hong Kong at high profile NGO’s including the Business Environment Council, where he was responsible for managing the organisations advisory services on ESG reporting and corporate sustainability strategy development. Mark was project manager of China Water Risk for 2013. Articles written under his tenure are those of China Water Risk.
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