IUCN Water and Business

Since its creation in 1948, IUCN has engaged with the private sector on a number of issues. Progressive companies recognise the role of water in their supply chains and products, and actively support the better management of water for their needs, and for those of wider society and the environment. Companies recognise the fundamental role of water in sustaining biodiversity and in providing an ecosystem service both for their bottom line, and for their future success.

We work with companies that recognise the inherent risks they face in sharing water with others, including the environment. Advanced corporate strategies will aim to recognise, map, and reduce water risks for wider multi-stakeholder benefits at river basin scale. This approach should underpin work on mitigating biodiversity risks (for example water quality), and encourage business to support better public sector policy development, regulatory mechanisms, and monitoring.

Danone Waters logo

Danone Waters

Together with the RAMSAR Secretariat, IUCN Water has partnered with Danone Waters to assess the company’s groundwater management tool. Developed internally, this tool helps Danone to sustainably manage the groundwater resources it uses for bottled water. RAMSAR and IUCN Water convened an expert workshop to evaluate the tool and its implementation across Danone sites globally, providing expert advice and guidance for future operation.

The due diligence for IUCN's direct partnership with Danone is posted here.

Further information on IUCN's work with Danone can be found here:

Danone: Market for Wet Carbon

Ramsar and Danone

Achieving carbon offsets through mangroves and other wetlands

IUCN China works with DANONE to restore Longmen watershed

Blog by James Dalton: "Shaking the bottle: reforming policy and improving water management".

"Opening the cap on bottled water resource management"

Cemex logo


Since 2010, IUCN Water works with building materials company CEMEX, to optimize water use and to better identify and understand water resources management in company operations, and the role of industry water management approaches in river basins.

IUCN Water developed a country based diagnostic which identified issues and challenges facing CEMEX operations at site level. Further work has focused around developing guidelines for water monitoring and reporting for sites globally. In 2013, we are working to support strategic development on water in the company as well as collecting good practice examples across operations to inform this process.

Further information on our activities with Cemex can be found here: CEMEX Recognizes the Importance of Water Management

Blog by James Dalton: "In good company: Learning about water management and risk"

Holcim logo


IUCN and Holcim have been working since 2007 to strengthen biodiversity management within Holcim’s operations, and to contribute to sector-wide improvements in cement and related sectors. Since 2011, IUCN Water works with Holcim on improving water management approaches.

Together, IUCN Water and HOLCIM have developed a water risk framework to help internal management issues as well as external, beyond the fenceline challenges facing its sites globally. Risk mapping using this framework has provided a foundation on which to develop mitigation actions. Further work in 2013 is focusing on gathering case studies to encourage internal learning and the sharing of sustainable water management activities between sites.

To learn more, please visit this link: IUCN-Holcim Relationship.

For further information on the second phase of the partnership, please read the Phase 2 Agreement overview.

IUCN and Holcim: Celebrating 7 years of biodiversity management



In 2009, WBCSD and IUCN released Water for Business – the first online guide specifically designed for businesses to help them manage water more sustainably by providing an overview of water tools and initiatives.The 3rd edition was released in August 2012, developed in collaboration with WBCSD and SustainAbility. It outlines the benefits of the different tools available and illustrates how a combination of complementary tools can best meet wide ranging needs. To find out more, click here.

Webstory: New guide identifies most effective water tool

WBCSD Global Water Tool

IUCN - WBCSD Relationship

Nokia logo


In early 2013 Nokia cancelled its partnership agreement with IUCN. This was a commercial decision by the company.
IUCN and Nokia worked in a project partnership aiming to identify opportunities to address climate change, natural resource loss, and improved livelihood developments in the Balkila Watershed of Uttarakhand State in Northern India.
To read more about the partnership, please visit this link: IUCN Balkila Himalayan Watershed Project supported by Nokia


We actively use and support wider use and adoption of the following tools, guidelines and standards:

Further Information
  • Rehabilitated quarry - Holcim

    Rehabilitated quarry - Holcim

    Photo: Holcim

  • The Wealth of Nature

    The Wealth of Nature

    Photo: IUCN CEMEX

  • Water for Business (2012)

    Water for Business (2012)

    Photo: WBCSD

  • Balkila Watershed and Gopeshwar town

    Balkila Watershed and Gopeshwar town

    Photo: IUCN\Ganesh Pangare

  • Cemex factory

    Cemex factory

    Photo: CEMEX

  • Maravan, France

    Maravan, France

    Photo: ©Jean-Jacques Beley

  • IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre speaking on the opening day of the World Water Forum in Marseille, France.

    IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre speaking on the opening day of the World Water Forum in Marseille, France.

    Photo: IUCN Brian Thomson