Water Sustainability Benchmark

In 2018, the first Water Sustainability Benchmark for Financial Institutions was developed and implemented by the Water Footprint Network (WFN). The need for such a benchmark arose from increasing risks of water to Financial Institutions (FI) and the lack of policies and strategies to manage these. What’s more, water often falls below the radar of materiality assessments for both FIs and the companies they offer their financial services to.

To tackle this gap in risk and impact perception, WFN together with WFI, developed a benchmark for International Financial Institutions and applied it for the first time to the world’s 50 largest IFIs. The results show to a worrying degree that IFIs have a blind spot when it comes to water. This puts both assets and our environmental resources at risk. The aim of the benchmark is to establish what are best practices of leading FIs when it comes to water, and to allow laggards to draw lessons and inspiration from the sector’s frontrunners.

The benchmark is not a one-off academic study. To be able to collect data, monitor trends, inform policy in and translate knowledge to action in the financial sector, the benchmark for IFIs is meant as a yearly analysis.

Water Sustainability Benchmarks for FIs can also be applied at national or regional level to show to which extent investment and lending decisions contribute to depleting or polluting water resources or incentivise the protection thereof at a specific geo-political scale. Interested to know how a Water Sustainability Benchmark can help you?

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