Helping Companies And Investors Turn Water Risk Into Resilience

6 Oct 2020 by Staff - Water Diplomat
Geneva, Switzerland

With climate change worsening the world’s water crises, new forward-looking scenarios produced by international conservation and environmental organization WWF estimate that almost half of global GDP could come from areas facing high water risk by 2050.

Available live from 6 October in the WWF Water Risk Filter – a leading online tool for assessing, valuing and responding to water risk – a new functionality maps three scenarios (Optimistic, Current Trend and Pessimistic) for 2030 and 2050 designed to help companies and investors better understand future water risks and drive more effective corporate action on climate and water resilience. A full briefing on the Water Risk Scenarios is linked at the foot of this article.

Background articles from OOSKAnews – WWF’s Water Risk Filter

“Companies are finally waking up to growing water risks and the need to take urgent action to reduce their risks and tackle shared water challenges,” said Ariane Laporte-Bisquit, WWF Water Risk Filter Lead. “By harnessing the new scenarios in the Water Risk Filter tool, companies and investors can better assess, respond and plan for climate and water resilience”.

Based on climate and socio-economic changes, the scenarios are aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations. Given high uncertainty in the context of climate change, TCFD recommends companies and financial institutions apply scenario analysis for assessing climate-related risks and opportunities to determine business resilience. As the impacts of climate change will primarily be felt through water, it is critical for scenario analysis to incorporate water in a comprehensive manner.

“Climate-related risks and opportunities are undeniably intertwined with those associated with water. Any assessments of future water-related events should therefore consider the climate, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. Other socio-economic drivers impact the supply and demand of water, such as regulatory, market and demographic changes. The new WWF Water Risk Filter tool supports the integration of water into TCFD-aligned scenario analysis and will strengthen the disclosure and assessment of companies’ resilience to future scenarios,” said Francesca Recanati, Environmental Specialist (Technical Manager), Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB).

“Recognising the TCFD recommendations and importance of assessing and preparing for potential future water risks in a changing climate, Carlsberg was the first company to test and use the new WWF Water Risk Filter scenarios to understand how water risks across our breweries may evolve in 2030 and 2050 under different scenarios,” said Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Senior Director Sustainability at Carlsberg Group, which has assessed the basin and operational water risks across its breweries using the WWF Water Risk Filter since 2017.

“Water resources are under growing pressure from climate change, increasing the risks to food production in many areas. EDEKA is using the new WWF Water Risk Filter scenarios to better understand future water risks to key agricultural commodities, which will help inform our long-term plans and strategy for climate and water resilience,” said Rolf Lange, Head of Corporate Communications at EDEKA Headquarters. Since 2012 freshwater is a key topic in the partnership for sustainability between WWF and the German food retailer EDEKA.

Adrian Sym, CEO, Alliance for Water Stewardship, said “Understanding current water risks using the Water Risk Filter tool is a critical first step for the successful implementation of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. With climate change exacerbating water risks, the new Water Risk Filter scenarios will enable companies to better understand future climate-water risks and develop water stewardship strategies that are future-fit”.

“As a first step in our new collaboration with WWF, we are analysing current water risks across our global operations using the Water Risk Filter tool. We look forward to using the tool’s new scenarios to evaluate future water risks, which will inform our resilience planning in the face of climate change,” said Fredrik Hellman, Climate Resilience Lead, AstraZeneca.

A full briefing on the Water Risk Scenarios can be downloaded here - wwf_wrf_brief_scenarios_lr.pdf