THETFORD CENTER, VT, Jan. 22, 2009 -- The Center for Sustainable Innovation (CSI) announced the release of a new tool for measuring and reporting the sustainability of corporate water use. Known as the Corporate Water Gauge™, the new tool makes it possible to measure and report single and enterprise-wide facility-based levels of water use against local precipitation and population data for specific locations. The tool also takes account of local topographical features and watershed boundaries, again with specific geographic locations in mind.
The Corporate Water Gauge™ is just the latest implementation of an advanced approach to sustainability metrics developed by CSI, known as sustainability quotients. Unlike other metrics, including those found in GRI-type reports, measures structured in the form of quotients take actual social and/or environmental conditions in the world explicitly into account, and are thereby able to put top-line corporate impacts into meaningful context. In the case of the Corporate Water Gauge™, water use is measured against both the volume of local water supplies and the size of the population that shares them, as opposed to simply reporting water use in a vacuum.
Of additional significance in today's announcement is the manner and extent to which the Corporate Water Gauge™ makes use of advanced GIS technology. GIS provides the data structure that links environmental and demographic information, and allows analysis and visualization of the combined dataset at a watershed level. Detailed topography models are thereby used to delineate the watersheds in which an organization's water withdrawals and discharges are made, including those associated with municipal and/or regional utilities. Quantitative scores are then produced which measure and express the sustainability of an organization's local and global water use.
CSI's Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, Ph.D., had this to say about today's announcement: "The Corporate Water Gauge™ is the latest result of a 3-year R&D effort to make triple bottom line measurement and reporting a reality. It, and the broader family of context-based metrics to which it belongs, together comprise what is arguably the most rigorous and meaningful methodology for assessing the true sustainability performance of an organization. And given the increasing urgency of conserving and carefully managing rapidly declining freshwater resources on Earth, this is a management tool whose time has come!"
The Center for Sustainable Innovation is a non-profit NGO located in Thetford Center, VT. It was founded in 2004 with a vision of working for sustainability, both within and by means of innovation.