Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy

This Guide is a product of the CEO Water Mandate, drafted by the Pacific Institute in its capacity as the “operational arm” of the Mandate Secretariat in consort with World Wildlife Fund, Water Witness International, and Pegasys Strategy & Development. Financial support for the development of this Guide was provided by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Guide’s origins date from the CEO Water Mandate’s Third Working Conference in Istanbul at the Fifth World Water Forum (March 2009), where endorsing companies and key stakeholders first expressed their interest in developing a document to guide responsible business engagement with water-related public policy. At the Mandate’s Fourth Working Conference in Stockholm (August 2009), endorsers and stakeholders affirmed their interest, and agreed upon the Guide’s overarching objectives and scope. The Mandate released the “Framework for Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy”—a document that summarized key concepts from this Guide (now presented as the Executive Overview)—in advance of the UN Global Compact’s Leadership Summit in New York City (June 2010).

An extensive review of existing and emerging practice, as well as consultations with industry and civil society representatives, academia, and governmental organizations, has informed the engagement guidance contained within this document. Given the wide range of views regarding the merits, pitfalls, and controversies of business intervention in public processes, the drafting team has emphasized an iterative, inclusive, and transparent analytical process. Throughout this process, key stakeholders and the general public were engaged to review and help shape the project work plan, annotated outline, methodological approach, and various drafts of the report. This engagement was performed in part through the CEO Water Mandate’s working conferences and Policy Engagement Working Group (comprised of Mandate endorsers) who met periodically throughout the Guide’s development to discuss key issues. Working Group meetings included key stakeholders representing a wider variety of interests on an ad hoc basis.