Thursday, December 8, 2011

RepRisk's Water Scarcity Report Scarcity - FINAL.pdf
RepRisk has released a new special report on companies and projects involved in Water Scarcity issues. RepRisk has been tracking the overuse and pollution of water resources by industrial firms. Based on negative published stakeholder sentiment, the most controversial include: Halliburton, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Encana, Barrick Gold, Black Mountain Resources and BHP Billiton.

Although RepRisk found criticism of overuse of water related to the Food and Beverage, Forestry, Paper, Alternative Energy and Biofuel industries, this report focuses on three industries over the past twelve months to analyze the impact of their operations on local communities and ecosystems. These industries are: Mining, Utilities and Oil & Gas. The Reprisk Reputation Risk Index (RRI®) and its trend are provided over a two year period for each sector.

Mining has been criticized for using vast quantities of underground water and for discharging toxic waste into freshwater sources. Indigenous groups have organized protests against companies in the Utilities sector, claiming that power plants are destroying their communities by drying out their sources of drinking water and irrigation. The ‘fracking’ technique and tar sands extraction method used by the Oil and Gas sector have been harshly criticized for using vast quantities of water and for contaminating underground water reserves.

Companies face a number of risks related to water scarcity and contamination. These include increased regulation or even the nationalization of water resources, loss of license to operate and/or lack of water supplies required for production. They may also face litigation, public backlash, protests, or shareholder resolutions, leading to reputational damage and ensuing financial loss.
According to the UN, nearly 900 million people have no access to clean drinkable water, almost 1.8 billion live in areas where water is scarce, and a further 1.6 billion live in countries, which lack the infrastructure to extract water from natural sources. The World Bank calculates that by 2030, water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent, as a growing world population demands more water for agricultural, industrial and personal use.
According to UNESCO, industry currently accounts for approximately 72 percent of global usage but this volume is rapidly increasing as emerging markets become more industrialized.
There have been repeated warnings that Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama and Veladero mines in Argentina are reducing the size of the glaciers located in the central Andes. In July 2011, opponents of the company’s Pueblo Viejo Mine, in the Dominican Republic alleged that it would generate 6,736 million cubic meters of wastewater annually.
In the US, the coal-fired, Merrimack Power plant has been criticized for using 287 million gallons of water a day and for causing water pollution.... In the Philippines, the Davao Coal Plant will allegedly extract at least 1,500 cubic meters of freshwater a day from the city’s aquifers and the Fukushima accident had a massive impact on water sources in Japan.

To read the full report click here:

About RepRisk
RepRisk™ monitors environmental, social and governance issues. Through this monitoring, our analysts cover negative news in 13 languages on more than 20,000 listed and unlisted companies. The coverage of companies is not limited and the data is updated daily. The criticism on companies from thousands of publicly available sources is collected, analyzed and quantified by the analysts. This results in summaries describing the relevant accusations specific to the companies and projects in each article, together with the RepRisk Index (RRI), a unique quant based indicator of reputational risks. These risks are specifically related to a company’s, project’s, sector’s or country’s environmental footprint, community and employee issues, human rights violations, corruption, fraud, and tax evasion issues, among others.

On November 29, 2010 RepRisk released “RepRisk 2012”, the first enterprise edition of its reputation risk management tool. This software as a service (SaaS) application, previously only provided to financial institutions, can be used to proactively monitor environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk exposure for multinational corporations, sectors or countries.

On November 28, 2011 SunGard added up-to-date environmental, social and governance (ESG) data for publicly listed companies and projects around the world to its MarketMap global market data terminal via an integration with RepRisk AG. The information gives MarketMap users the ability to identify controversial companies across sectors and countries and to compare companies’ ratings with their peers and their sectors.

On November 11, 2011 RepRisk was nominated as a finalist for the OG25 2011 Innovative Green Start-up Award in the US. The 3rd annual green startup competition recognized twenty-five of the most innovative eco-startups. OG25 Innovative Green Startup finalists were showcased on November 11 at the Annual Opportunity Green Conference, held in Los Angeles.

Press Release November 10, 2011

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