Global Forest Watch Commodities (GFW-Commodities) is a business tool to end deforestation in commodity supply chains.
Markets & Enterprise
Three major financial institutions and two of the world’s largest food and beverage companies are driving improved water management using data from Aqueduct’s Water Risk Atlas. This list includes: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer; Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company; LGIM, one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers; one of the world’s largest banks; and one of the world’s largest pension fund managers.
Water risks—such as floods, drought, and increased competition for scarce water resources—are increasingly chipping into corporate bottom lines. The financial sector is taking notice, as companies and investors seek robust and comprehensive data to inform their decision-making processes. Previously, water risk had not been widely incorporated into financial risk assessments or business strategies, primarily because of a lack of awareness of business vulnerability to water risks, poor data, and uncertainty on how to use what information was available.
In January 2013, WRI launched the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, a comprehensive water risk mapping tool that highlights water risk hotspots for a company’s direct operations and supply chains. Using a scientific approach, the tool is transparent, robust, and is translated into a set of easy-to-use water risk indicators and maps. Within six months from launch, the uptake of Aqueduct’s data by investors and companies has steadily increased, as has use by governments, academic, and civil society groups.
Some of the world’s biggest global companies, funds, and investors are driving improved local water management, thanks Aqueduct’s information. Investors like LGIM are increasingly using Aqueduct water risk data to inform investment decisions, and multinational industry leaders like Nestlé and AB InBev are adopting Aqueduct’s Water Risk Atlas as a critical component of their corporate water strategies. The popularity of the Aqueduct tool provides strong evidence that:
- The investment community’s water-related risk awareness is growing;
- Investors can become key drivers for improved corporate water management worldwide; and
- Major multinational companies are incorporating water into business strategies to drive action on the ground and reduce shared water risks in watersheds.
First-of-its-Kind Guide Calls on Companies to Align Corporate Sustainability Initiatives and Climate Policy
WASHINGTON– For the first time ever, companies have a guide to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. The UN Global Compact, in cooperation with seven leading international organizations, today released guidelines to help companies engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments.
A new interactive map from WRI’s Aqueduct project reveals that more than 25 percent of the world’s agriculture is grown in areas of high water stress. This figure doubles when looking at irrigated cropland, which produces 40 percent of global food supply.
This analysis highlights the tension between water availability and agricultural production. Finding a balance between these two critical resources will be essential—especially as the global population expands.
Record-setting levels of smog this week shut down Harbin, a city of 11 million people in northeast China. Officials blamed increased coal consumption during the first days of winter heating, underscoring the urgency of the China State Council’s recently announced initiative to address persistent smog in major cities.
But while the Air Pollution Control Action Plan has ambitious goals—cutting air particulates and coal consumption—it may create unintended problems for the country’s water supply.
Communities across the world continue to experience weather-induced food shortages due to drought, floods, devastating wildfires, and other climate change impacts. This week, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF)is meeting to discuss how the GCF will receive and disburse money through various financial inputs and instruments.
JP Morgan, one of the world’s leading investment banks with 8,000 clients in more than 100 countries, has adopted new environmental policies based in significant part on WRI advice. JP Morgan will account for greenhouse gas emissions associated with their lending portfolio. The bank will work with clients to develop financing solutions to fund development of lower carbon-emitting technology solutions and investments in greenhouse gas reductions. The bank will lead efforts with other financial institutions advocating for the U.S. government’s adoption of a market-based national policy on greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The financial implications of environmental opportunities and risk need to be understood by financial institutions and investors, and reflected in the world’s capital markets. Our collaboration with Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, has resulted in their report, “Energy Security and Climate Change: Investing in the Clean Car Revolution.” Merrill Lynch uses this report to advise clients about investments in the auto industry. WRI’s work with Merrill Lynch advances our efforts to involve the financial sector in addressing climate change.
WRI’s partnership with General Electric is one example of harnessing the power of business to solve environmental challenges. This year, GE launched “Ecomagination”, a climate strategy based on product development and operational performance goals. GE plans to double its revenue from energy-efficient and other green products while reducing its corporate greenhouse emissions by 2010. Working with WRI, as a member of our corporate working group on climate, GE made the business decision that it can find opportunity in selling technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When an iconic company like GE makes confronting global climate change a major element of its business strategy, other corporate leaders take heed.