Corporate Water Footprinting: What is measured and how? (Part 4) Reply

The previous blog posts discussed the importance of corporate water footprinting from the environmental, business, and sustainability perspectives.  But what is measured and how?

Businesses consider three different water types:  blue, green, and grey.  Blue water is measure of freshwater from surface or ground water. Green water is a measure of rainwater stored in the soil as soil moisture. Grey water is polluted water associated with production.  

The corporate water footprint also considers the abundance of the local supply, as well as the water quality. Given the water types, using more water isn’t always “bad.” Producing agriculture in an area with plentiful Blue water is less of a problem than producing the same crop using scarce groundwater supplies.

 There are several online tools available to assist companies in reporting their water usage. Some examples are:

  • The Carbon Disclosure Project
  • The Water Footprint Network’s “water footprint”
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Global Water Tool
  • Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) Water Sustainability Planner/Tool

When undertaking corporate water footprinting, businesses should have a thorough understanding of the tools available for reporting. A comparison of these tools will be discussed in more depth in our free webinar March 21. To register, visit: