Water (SDG 6)

All of our leading companies, except a few NBFCs (Other Financials), have programs for managing water consumed in their operations. The breadth and depth of these initiatives vary widely – around 30% of the companies studied reported that they deploy only one measure and the remainder 70% implement 4 or more measures.

The most widely implemented water-related programs across industries are water monitoring & conservation, water recycling & reuse and effluent water treatment. It is interesting to note that although about 70% of companies undertake rainwater harvesting, only 30% of companies have programs for groundwater recharge.

Water management measures

Water management measures

As a consequence of various water management measures companies, in general, have reduced their water consumption between 2% and 10% across sectors, as compared to the previous year. Approximately 10% of companies have been water positive (few multiple times and few only have some water-neutral units) for a couple of years, and some aspire to be so in the near term. ABFRL plans to achieve water-neutrality in its facilities by 2020 and across the supply chain by 2025.

We observe that 23% of our top 100 companies undertake water mapping and risk assessment, an improvement from 16% in the previous year. Also, around a-tenth of the companies studied participate in water-specific alliances, partnerships and programs.

Water sepecfic InitiativeParticipating Companies
CEO Water MandateTata Steel, Infosys, Hindustan Construction Company
CDP Water Disclosure ProjectHindustan Zinc, Tata Chemicals, JK Tyre & Industries, Marico Ltd., Cisco Systems
Alliance for Water StewardshipHindustan Consturction Company
WASHABFRL, Nestle India
Water Resources GroupJain Irrigation System
Global Water Partnership ASABEJain Irrigation System
Water Footprint NetworkJain Irrigation System
Water Quality AssociationHavells India

Supply chain

Indian companies usually have onboarding guidelines or Supplier Code of Conduct which incorporate environmental and social parameters that they expect their suppliers to comply. A few of the companies explicitly reported water conservation and its management as an ESG parameter for supplier selection. Hero MotoCorp covers water management as part of its Green Vendor Development Program./p>

Textile and consumer staples companies undertake sustainable farming initiatives for their supply chain, which incorporates water management programs for farmers. Welspun participates in sustainable farming initiatives such as the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). BCI includes water management programs for farmers. And at HUL, Tata Global Beverages and many other firms, farmers are trained on drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and other methods.

Rainwater harvesting in the supply chain (dealerships, warehouses and packeting centres) was a common practice across industries, though adopted by only a few companies. A couple of SAIL warehouses have adopted rainwater harvesting. Separately, some OEMs introduced dry wash system at their dealerships.

Some companies monitor water consumption in their supply chain. For instance, ITC had initiated the process of accounting for water intake of supply chain members in FY 2014-15. Tata Chemical has adopted CDP’s supply chain program that enables it to control water impact. The company's Mission Jal program is the strategy for addressing water footprint outcomes through the value chain. L&T monitors water consumption and waste-water recycled at select suppliers. And, IndusInd Bank assessed its large volume suppliers on social and practices including Water Management.

Except for fertilizer companies such as UPL that run awareness programs for farmers on water conservation, none of the companies studied reported any water-related program for their customers.


Companies contribute to water related projects for communities such as those for drinking water, integrated water management, rainwater harvesting, restoring existing water structures (river/pond/lake rejuvenation), check dam construction, etc. 16% of companies contributed to rainwater harvesting projects and 64% have drinking water related programs for communities.

ACC: An 800-meter irrigation channel was built to channel water from our mine pits to help irrigate 200 acres of farmland, benefiting hundreds of farmers and their livestock.