(New York, 9 October 2008) - Following a three-month consultation process, the UN Global Compact Office today announced a comprehensive Transparency Policy for the CEO Water Mandate, an initiative launched in July 2007 to advance corporate water sustainability practices. The Transparency Policy outlines the disclosure-related responsibilities for endorsing companies of the CEO Water Mandate, including policies for endorsers who fail to develop their "Communications on Progress" related to the CEO Water Mandate.
The Transparency Policy is the outcome of extensive discussions among endorsing companies in consultation with key non-business stakeholders, including civil society organizations and specialized water groups. It is derived from the Transparency Framework for the CEO Water Mandate, also released today, which describes the underlying transparency principles and related objectives of the initiative.
"This Transparency Policy is a key milestone in the evolution of the CEO Water Mandate", said Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact Office and Head of the CEO Water Mandate. "In order to be legitimate and meaningful, it is critical that the initiative seriously incorporates the tenets of transparency and public accountability. By linking the CEO Water Mandate to the UN Global Compact's Communication on Progress policy, we hope to achieve this. Moreover, these disclosures can potentially form a rich repository of best and emerging practices, which can serve an important learning and knowledge-sharing function".
Mr. Power added that the Transparency Policy and the related Transparency Framework can offer valuable guidance for all companies as they seek to expand water sustainability practices and related disclosure on progress, risks and opportunities. "Water management in the broadest sense, including impacts in the supply chain and watershed responsibility, is a frontier area for the vast majority of companies", said Mr Power. "And, as one might expect, current water reporting practices are inadequate given the increasing materiality of water as a resource. The CEO Water Mandate offers a framework to assist companies in developing appropriate water policies and practices, and the Transparency Policy and its underlying principles can help these same enterprises in their disclosure to key stakeholders".
In related news, the UN Global Compact Office today also released the report of the CEO Water Mandate's second working conference, which took place in Stockholm on 21-22 August.
UN Global Compact Office