Water Management and Corporate Social Performance in the Food and Beverage Industry

Weber, O., & Hogberg-Saunders, G. (2018). Water Management and Corporate Social Performance in the Food and Beverage Industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.05.269

33 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2018

See all articles by Olaf Weber

Olaf Weber

University of Waterloo

Grace Saunders-Hogberg

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Date Written: May 31, 2018

Abstract

The food and beverage industry is one of the most water intensive industries. Therefore, an effective and efficient water management, based on eco-system related indicators, is crucial. This study analyzes the connection between indicators that address sustainable water management as a subgroup of ecosystem management and the general corporate social performance of firms. The study explores which water eco-system indicators are used in the food and beverage industry to assess corporate water risk management. Secondly, we analyzed the relationship between corporate water risk management and overall corporate social performance. Based on an analysis of 61 firms in the food and beverage sector, our results suggest that the most used indicators were Operations’ Dependency on Freshwater, Change in Water Supply, Use of Water in the Facilities, Collaboration with Communities, and Water Risks for Agricultural Inputs. Indicators addressing an inside-out perspective, such as Impacts on Communities were less often used. Furthermore, we found that the firms’ general corporate social performance, measured by MSCI KLD-ESG indicators, is a good predictor for their use of water indicators. We conclude that the firms in the sample follow an outside-in approach for their water management activities and that water management is a significant part of corporate social responsibility activities in the sector because the business performance of food and beverage firms is interwoven with their water management activities.

Keywords: Water, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecosystem

JEL Classification: Q01

Suggested Citation

Weber, Olaf and Saunders-Hogberg, Grace, Water Management and Corporate Social Performance in the Food and Beverage Industry (May 31, 2018). Weber, O., & Hogberg-Saunders, G. (2018). Water Management and Corporate Social Performance in the Food and Beverage Industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.05.269. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188473

Olaf Weber (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Grace Saunders-Hogberg

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

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