The CEO Water Mandate: Fourth Working Conference

The CEO Water Mandate: Fourth Working Conference

Published: August 2009

Authors: The CEO Water Mandate

Pages: 25

The CEO Water Mandate: Fourth Working Conference


In July 2007, the UN Secretary-General in partnership with international business leaders and under the auspices of the UN Global Compact launched the CEO Water Mandate – an initiative established to better understand and advance water stewardship in the private sector. The Mandate was built upon six core elements considered to be critical in addressing corporate water management: Direct Operations, Supply Chain and Watershed Management, Collective Action, Public Policy, Community Engagement, and Transparency.

Following meetings in New York City (March 2008), Stockholm (August 2008), and Istanbul (March 2009), the UN Global Compact – with support from the Pacific Institute – convened the Mandate’s fourth working conference on August 16-18, 2009 – once again at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm. This workshop consisted of over 80 participants representing 20 endorsing companies, eight UN and government agencies, 13 civil society organizations, and various other organizations. In addition to the multi-stakeholder working conference, the Mandate held three other events: 1) a general informational session about the Mandate (open to all World Water Week registrants), 2) a seminar on a joint project of the Mandate and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) focusing on water accounting methods and tools for business, and 3) an endorser-only planning meeting.


The multi-stakeholder working conference’s overarching goal was to discuss, shape, and advance the initiative’s three primary current workstreams/areas of focus:

1) Business engagement with water policy and management;

2) Corporate water disclosure; and

3) Water and human rights.


The conference sought to build on prior Mandate discussions, to further share learnings on these issues and to determine how the initiative can move forward in regard to these topics.

The seminar on the joint UNEP-Mandate water accounting project brought together key stakeholders (i.e. Water Footprint Network, LCA practitioners, academia, civil society, and companies that have piloted water accounting methods) to inform them of the planned project research and allow them to better understand and explore commonalities and differences with regard to the objectives, scope, and approaches of existing methods for water accounting. The informational public session about the Mandate provided an opportunity to disseminate information on the initiative’s key characteristics, objectives, activities, and accomplishments and give attendees an opportunity to provide input into the Mandate’s future direction.

The endorser-only meeting served as a forum for companies to:

1) digest feedback from the multistakeholder working conference,

2) decide on how the initiative should pursue further activities relating to existing workstreams, and

3) determine next steps on the Mandate’s funding, recruitment efforts, potential partnerships, and future working conferences.

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