Skip to content

Water Footprinting

Water Footprinting and Water Footprint Verification

Performing a water footprint allows you to measure, manage and reduce your water consumption, thereby lowering operating costs. Independent verification of your water footprint adds credibility and validity to your reporting - your brand image is improved and your customers’ confidence in your sustainability claims increases, giving you a competitive advantage. And, of course, water footprint assurance means that you can be sure that the data you are reporting is correct so that you can continue working towards your goal of reducing your organisation’s impact on the environment.



Do you submit your water footprint data to the CDP? Having independent verification of your water inventory provides stakeholders with confidence that the data is complete and accurate. Find out more here.

Water issues can be challenging to tackle. CDP’s water security program is designed to guide your company through the complexities. Investors, representing $87tn, are increasingly requesting data and action from companies through CDP's water security program.

What is a Water Footprint?

A water footprint is the sum of all fresh water used to produce an item (or perform a service or for an organisation) through both direct and indirect water usage.
As water is becoming more of an issue, in terms of stress of supply, potential legislation and consumer demand for transparency in the use of resources, many companies are looking to address their water consumption.

Why perform a Water Footprint?

  • it allows you to measure, manage and reduce your water consumption, thereby lowering operating costs
  • signifies your commitment to sustainability to stakeholders, thereby increasing their confidence and giving you a competitive advantage
  • can form part of a wider Sustainability Action Plan

Why have your Water Footprint Independently Verified?

An independently verified water footprint gives credibility to your reporting and can ensure regulatory compliance - now and in future.

Furthermore, independent assurance of your water footprint satisfies your stakeholders' demands for:

  • accuracy
  • validity
  • materiality
  • transparency

What Standards and Protocols are used for Water Footprinting?

For the majority of reporters the first steps to a water footprint are through a simple water inventory – a calculation of current water usage (Via water metering).

For more detailed Footprinting including full LCA (Life cycle analysis)

In July 2014 The International Standards Organisation (ISO) published the long awaited standard on water footprinting. This new standard, known as “ISO 14046:2014: Environmental management. Water footprint. Principles, requirements and guidelines” was originally due to be released in 2012.

ISO 14046:2014 specifies principles, requirements and guidelines related to water footprint assessment of products, processes and organisations based on life cycle assessment (LCA).

ISO 14046:2014 provides principles, requirements and guidelines for conducting and reporting a water footprint assessment as a stand-alone assessment, or as part of a more comprehensive environmental assessment. Only air and soil emissions that impact water quality are included in the assessment, and not all air and soil emissions are included. The result of a water footprint assessment is a single value or a profile of impact indicator results. Whereas reporting is within the scope of ISO 14046:2014, communication of water footprint results, for example in the form of labels or declarations, is outside the scope of ISO 14046:2014.