Water management is a major global challenge. Rising population, increasing industrial and agricultural activities in new markets, pollution and climate change impacts are combining to put unprecedented stress on local water resources.
Water scarcity can lead to practical and business risks for a wide-range of companies and sectors, including the cement industry. These risks can be addressed through the implementation of a comprehensive water management strategy, which in addition to mitigating water-scarcity risk, can also improve stakeholder relations. In order to implement water management measures and to meet stakeholders' expectations, water data need to be credible, relevant and easy to understand. This requires consistent use of metrics, terminology and definitions.
Protocol for Water Reporting for the Cement Industry
The Protocol for Water Reporting for the Cement Industry was developed primarily for water reporting in cement plant operations, but can also be used in aggregate installations and ready-mix concrete operations. Together with the Guidance on Good Practices for Water Accounting, the document sets out detailed metrics, terminology, definitions and guidance for water accounting and serves as reference for CSI member companies as well as stakeholders. More specifically, this protocol encompasses the site data required for disclosure and/or benchmarking, based on the nature of operations and the specific reporting requirements for the cement plants operations, aggregate installations and ready-mix concrete operations.
In order to obtain accurate data to properly understand water withdrawal and consumption within a cement operation, the perimeter of the indicators has to be specified precisely.
Apart from physical boundaries, a company also needs to define organizational boundaries for reporting its performance on water management.
The Protocol also explains what type of installations should be covered and how, giving clear guidance to companies on the exact scope of reporting. With common and transparent reporting metrics, CSI members can provide reliable and credible water performance data established with a recognized and shared methodology. This data could potentially be assured by credible 3rd party assurance.