Measuring sustainability of water supply: performance indicators and their application in a corporate responsibility report

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

For many water supply companies, the sustainable exploitation of water resources has always been an integral part of their business, voluntarily accepting tasks and responsibility which benefit society and the environment in general, e.g. in resource protection, environmental monitoring, and encouragement of sustainable farming practices. However, these voluntary activities are often not sufficiently recognised internally and externally due to a missing sustainability framework and a less developed communication strategy. Therefore, a comprehensive framework for the measurement and reporting of corporate responsibility (CR) in water supply was developed, comprising the environmental and sustainability issues of resource protection and water supply, social responsibility and long-term economical development. This framework was successfully applied in a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach and served as basis for a CR report of a German regional water and wastewater company. The CR Performance Indicator system was imbedded in the IWA framework of Performance Indicators (PI), and as such is universally applicable in water and wastewater systems.

Keywords: balanced scorecard, corporate responsibility, performance indicator, reporting, sustainability, water supply

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