SP Publishes New Water Stewardship Guide, in Collaboration with The Water Council

Washington, DC – The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) – an association of global automakers and their suppliers working together to advance environmental sustainability through the automotive supply chain – today announced the publication of a new guidance document, the “Water Stewardship Action Matrix”.

The guidance document was prepared for SP by The Water Council, an internationally acclaimed nonprofit organization dedicated to freshwater innovation, through a collaborative process including feedback and pilot testing by members of SP’s Water Stewardship Work Group.

In the first half of 2022, SP worked together with The Water Council to test the design of a sector-wide water stewardship program that is centered on an action plan to help its member organizations, and their suppliers, accelerate their water stewardship performance. 

The proposed water stewardship program was informed by review and input from the OEM and supplier members of SP’s Water Stewardship Work Group, which is co-chaired by Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor North America.   The program was also pilot tested by automotive suppliers Lear Corp. and Nalco Water at their manufacturing sites located in the United States and Mexico in the Spring of 2022.

“Lear has a long-standing commitment to the responsible consumption and management of water and wastewater discharges throughout our global operations. Participating in the SP Water Stewardship Work Group and pilot program at two Lear operations in Mexico has provided us with valuable insights that we will be implementing into our corporate water strategy going forward,” said Harry Kemp, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and ESG Lead at Lear Corp., a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems.

“At Nalco Water, we empower operations around the world to protect vital water resources and are similarly committed to responsible water stewardship across our own operations. Participating in this pilot program with SP provided a unique opportunity to benchmark one of our flagship facilities against established stewardship best practices, share our approach with other members, and consider new opportunities for collective action. And in just two years, this facility has achieved an annual total water reduction of 42 million gallons, equivalent to nearly $500,000 in risk-adjusted cost savings. We continue to increase the portfolio of our manufacturing facilities around the world to Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standards to meet our 2030 impact goals,” said Rajeev Dilipkumar, Marketing Director at Nalco Water.

The resulting Action Matrix is intended as a first step in helping automotive companies 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 is designed to form a platform for future action and currently serves as the first phase in an anticipated multi-phase SP water stewardship initiative.

“The Action Matrix follows a plan-do-check-act approach that leads to a better understanding of water uses and impacts so that if companies choose, they can create targets, set policy and ultimately mitigate highest priority water-related risks. Because it is a process-based approach, it is meant to accelerate water stewardship performance in companies of different sizes, in different locations and with different operational profiles,” said Matt Howard, Vice President, Water Stewardship at The Water Council.

“This collaborative project was designed to complement our members’ ongoing efforts to conserve and protect critical water resources and to provide a solid foundation to support the supply chain in their water stewardship journey. SP wishes to thank The Water Council for its assistance throughout the course of developing and pilot testing the Action Matrix, together with each of the members that volunteered their time and input to this effort,” said Kellen Mahoney, Director at the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP).

SP will host a webinar on October 4 featuring representatives from The Water Council, Lear Corporation, and Nalco Water who will speak to this new water stewardship initiative.  To learn more and register for the webinar, please visit: https://www.supplierspartnership.org/sp-news/webinar-water-stewardship-action-matrix/

The new water stewardship guidance document is available to download at no cost at https://www.supplierspartnership.org/water-guidance/

About SP

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) is an association of automakers and their suppliers working in collaboration with the US EPA and other governmental entities toward a shared vision of an automotive industry with positive environmental impact. www.supplierspartnership.org/

About TWC

The Water Council is a global hub dedicated to solving critical water challenges by driving innovation in freshwater technology and advancing water stewardship. Built on more than a century of water innovation, it has coalesced one of the most concentrated water technology clusters in the world from its headquarters at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Recognizing the need for smarter and more sustainable use of water worldwide, The Water Council also promotes water stewardship as a natural complement to water innovation.

Contact: Kellen Mahoney, info@supplierspartnership.org

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