GRI 303: Water and Effluents 2018
Contains disclosures for organizations to report information about their water-
related impacts, and how they manage these impacts 💥.
The Standard is structured as follows:
Section 1 contains two disclosures, which provide information about how the organization manages its water-related impacts.
Section 2 contains three disclosures, which provide information about the organization’s water-related impacts.
The Glossary contains defined terms with a specific meaning when used in the GRI Standards. The terms are underlined in the text of the GRI Standards and linked to the definitions.
The Bibliography lists authoritative intergovernmental instruments and additional references used in developing this Standard.
The rest of the Introduction section provides a background on the topic, an overview of the system of GRI Standards, and further information on using this Standard.
Background on the topic
This Standard addresses the topic of water and effluents. Access to freshwater is essential for human life and well-being and is recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a human right. The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, include key targets related to sustainable water management under Goal 6: Ensure availability and
sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. These targets aim, for example, to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, improve water quality, and address water scarcity. The amount of water withdrawn and consumed by an organization and the quality of its discharges can impact the functioning of the ecosystem in numerous ways. Direct impacts on a catchment can have wider impacts on the quality of life in an area, including social and economic consequences for local communities and indigenous peoples. Since water is a shared resource, and water-related impacts are localized, organizations are increasingly being encouraged to:
Prioritize action in areas with water stress;
Understand and respond to local contexts, including local social and environmental impacts;
Aim to benefit and respect the needs and priorities of all water users in an area;
Align their approaches and collective actions with other water users and with the effective public.
Through a comprehensive understanding of its water use, an organization can assess the impacts it has on water resources that benefit the ecosystem, other water users, and the organization itself. An organization, particularly a water-intensive one, can use this information for effective water management.
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