Life is not possible without water. Water is a crucial resource for the natural environment, human beings, and business activities. At Glencore, we recognise access to water as a fundamental human right and strive to support equitable access to water. To achieve this, we implement leading sustainable water management systems throughout our global operations. 

Why this matters

Glencore, as a key global natural resource company, is highly dependent on water as a critical element of our production processes. We also recognize the importance of responsibly managing this critical shared resource for the long-term protection of the ecosystems and communities where we operate. 

We manage a number of water-related challenges across our diverse operations, ranging from water stress areas to areas with excess water. Some of our operations are located in regions with high to extremely high water baseline stress as defined by the World Resource Institute’s (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. It is therefore important for this resource to be responsibly-managed throughout our assets’ lifecycle to ensure equitable access for all.  

In areas with excessive water, operations can experience increased water management requirements and associated costs, such as dewatering and water treatment prior to discharge. Other water-related challenges can include extended periods of severe drought or flooding that may be further intensified by longer-term impacts arising from climate change. 

Our approach

We are committed to managing water responsibly, without adverse impacts on water quality or quantity, protecting the ecosystems in which we work, and supporting equitable access to water by all. We achieve this through the implementation of our global water governance, including the Strategic Water Framework and Water Management Guideline.  

The five key elements of this governance include: 

  1. Understand our water catchment areas, baseline water conditions, and ecosystems 
  2. Assess our potential impacts on water resources, and identify risks and opportunities 
  3. Develop and implement water management plans to responsibly manage this important resource and reduce our water footprint 
  4. Improve our water management performance by monitoring compliance, setting targets, and continuously improving 
  5. Engage with involved stakeholders, report on our progress, and identify partnerships to progress water-related programmes 

Our ambition

To minimise potential water-related impacts from our operations and provide fair and equitable access for all water users. 

Our approach to water stewardship

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Principles we follow

UN Global Compact - Principles 7, 8 and 9

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

Principle 9: Business should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

UN Sustainable Development Goals - Goals 6, 12, 14 and 15

Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

International Council on Mining and Metals - Principle 6

Principle 6: Pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change