Cascading Water Stewardship Leadership

Co-Chaired by Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor North America, SP’s Water Stewardship Work Group provides a forum to facilitate automotive OEM and supplier dialogue and action on common approaches, tools and resources to support advancing water stewardship across the automotive value chain.

In 2022, SP worked with The Water Council (TWC) as an expert partner to support the organization in laying the foundation for the development of an automotive water stewardship program. In the first phase of this project, SP worked with TWC and key members to test the design of a sector-wide water stewardship program that is centered on a decision matrix and action plan that helps member organizations achieve excellence in their water stewardship performance.

The resulting SP Water Stewardship Action Matrix is intended as a first step in helping companies in the automotive value chain build comprehensive water stewardship programs. It outlines recommended actions so that suitable data, information and risk assessment processes are in place if and when companies choose to directly mitigate water-related risks and report those actions and outcomes to key external stakeholders. The Action Matrix was designed to form a platform for future action and served as the first phase in a multi-phase SP water stewardship initiative.

Moving forward, SP is working to build on this foundation through the continued development of a formalized Automotive Water Stewardship Program that is built on global, corporate water stewardship best practices that align with the principles and framework of the CEO Water Mandate and the International Water Stewardship Standard (“AWS Standard”). 

In early 2023, SP expanded its collaborative relationship with The Water Council to support the next phase of this initiative through the development of an automotive Water Stewardship Strategy Framework.

This next phase of work seeks to build on the guidance provided in SP’s Water Stewardship Action Matrix on HOW to begin developing a water stewardship plan with further guidance on WHY companies at each stage of the value chain should prioritize consideration of water stewardship.  As the industry seeks to reach deeper into the supply chain and engage suppliers in improving water performance, it is critical that those companies understand the business value of water and have the context and tools needed to integrate a forward-looking water strategy into the corporate business strategy.

Additional information on this project will be shared in SP’s 2nd Quarter Membership Meeting and SP’s 2023 Innovation Summit. To learn more about this activity and opportunities to get involved as an SP member, please contact us at

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