Delivering on Net-Positive Water Impact for Growth and Resilience

Water is essential for the resilience of business. Climate change will introduce dramatic changes and deep uncertainties that will exacerbate the already deep water crisis. Today 45 per cent of companies report exposure to risks from water insecurity estimated at over US$ 425 billion. This number will only grow as companies of all shapes and sizes are exposed to these risks through their own operations or through water consumed across their value chains. The UN Global Compact CEO Mandate and its Water Resilience Coalition call on businesses to achieve net-positive water impact (NPWI) and water resilient value chains by 2050 to build resiliency for their own operations and the communities and ecosystems in which they operate. In doing so, these companies can make a demonstrable contribution to the achievement of SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

This Academy session will highlight both the business case and the pressing need for ambitious action on water to support resilience against climate impacts. Hear from companies who have taken action to achieve net-positive water impact, and learn the steps your business can take to set goals and take action on the road to  net-positive water impact.


  • Prithi Sharma, Global Corporate Affairs Water Stewardship Lead, HEINEKEN
  • Paul Reig, Founder of Bluerisk
  • Sarah Shadid, Senior Associate, Ross Strategic
  • Dr Alexis Schäffler-Thomson, Engagement Manager, Pegasys
  • Dr Amanda Bielawski, Director of Communications and Outreach, Pacific Institute

What we learned:

o   NPWI serves as a guiding North Star for water stewardship programs and helps directly align company ambitions with SDG 6 to reduce water stress in three specific dimensions: availability, quality, and accessibility. 

o   NPWI is also achieved through a combination of both investments in an enterprise’s own direct operations AND through collective action partnerships within basins.

o   We learned that having a credible and influential implementing partner can be a critical success factor for implementing NPWI.

o   And, we learned that companies need to consider their unique contexts, prioritize early stakeholder consultation, and think long-term.

Recommended Resources

SDG Ambition Water Benchmark Reference Sheet

Net Positive Water Impact Concept Note

Guidance on contextual water targets

Benefit accounting for nature-based solutions

Collaborate on the Water Action Hub

  • News