This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers one of the reporting requirements of Indicator G4-EN8 – 'Total water withdrawal by source'. This metric is for recording the total volume of water used by the company from municipal sources. Additional sources the indicator specifies that companies should disclose include Surface water (including water from wetlands, rivers, lakes, and oceans), Ground water, Rainwater collected directly and stored by the organization, Waste water from another organization or other water utilities.
Reporting the total volume of water withdrawn by source contributes to an understanding of the overall scale of potential impacts and risks associated with the organization’s water use. The total volume withdrawn provides an indication of the organization’s relative size and importance as a user of water, and provides a baseline figure for other calculations relating to efficiency and use.
The systematic effort to monitor and improve the efficient use of water in the organization is directly linked to water consumption costs. Total water use can also indicate the level of risk posed by disruptions to water supplies or increases in the cost of water. Clean freshwater is becoming increasingly scarce, and can impact production processes that rely on large volumes of water. In regions where water sources are highly restricted, the organization’s water consumption patterns can also influence relations with other stakeholders.
This metric is looking for the total amount of municipal (public) water withdrawn by the company in cubic metres:
For WikiRate researchers:
Companies who align reports to GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards often include a GRI Content Index or Annex where GRI disclosures, with GRI codes, are listed.
Use the GRI Index, CTRL F, Command F or search button on source preview to search for this index and metrics within the report
Use G4 codes, G3 codes or keywords to quickly find values, keeping in mind that some companies report on the metric using different terms, e.g. G4-EN8 or EN8, municipal sources or public sources
Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value
Add comments documenting exactly where within the source you found the information (page number) and include details of simple or complex calculations or conversions made to determine the metric value
If you are unable to locate a metric value in a source you can search for additional sources where the data is available and add a new source
Global Reporting Initiative compliance guidance for companies:
To calculate Municipal Water Withdrawls - G4-EN8-a:
Identify the total volume of water withdrawn from municipal source. This includes the abstraction of cooling water. Identify whether these calculations are estimated, modelled or sourced from direct measurements. If estimation or modelling is required, identify the methods used in the comments section.
This Indicator may include water that was either withdrawn directly by the organization or through intermediaries such as water utilities.
Note: In some cases, a company reports their total water usage and breaks it down by origin in percentage - in these cases, you can add a value by finding the correct percentage of the total. For example, if a company uses 1000 cubic metres and says that 50% is from municipal sources you can multiply 1000 by 0.50 to find the correct value (500).