PRI leads engagement on water risk

LONDON, 29 July 2014 – The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) today launched a new investor-led collaborative engagement, focused on the water risks faced by companies in their agricultural supply chains.

As part of this the PRI has today released a research report on the issue, developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and PwC Germany. The report highlights the risks to investors and the companies they invest in, and guidance on engaging with companies on the issue.

The research found a strong correlation between individual company revenue and estimated water consumption in water scarce regions, but also a large difference between the average and median water consumption of the companies researched. Furthermore, companies in the food and soft drink, agricultural products and food retail sectors were found to have greater supply chain water footprints than apparel, brewing, distilling and wine producing companies. On company risk management, some well-known consumer brands are strong performers for both direct and supply chain operations, but overall performance was poor.

The launch of the research, and the accompanying report, support the White House Climate Data Initiative’s Food Resilience theme which has feature d the project in its launch today. The Climate Data Initiative is a broad effort to leverage the data resources of the US Federal Government, and others in the private and non-government sectors. These efforts aim to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship which support national climate-change preparedness.

PRI Managing Director, Fiona Reynolds said “We are proud to launch this project to highlight the risks companies face in their supply chains. We welcome proactive dialogue between investors and businesses to stimulate improved transparency and risk management practices, and in turn promote resilience in food production in an increasingly water scarce world.”

A public copy of the report is available here. PRI signatories who wish to join the collaborative engagement should contact Paul Chandler, Manager of Investor Engagements, Environmental Issues at the PRI. More information on the President’s Climate Data Initiative is available here.

Media contact

Matthew McAdam, Associate Director, Communications

+44 (0) 203 714 3142

Matthew.McAdam@unpri.org