The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Insights for the Business Community

May 2, 2014
Corporate Citizenship Center

The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Insights for the Business Community explores the connections between these three vital resources and identified steps that companies can take to understand and address their connections to energy, water and food.  

Energy, water, and food are connected to the inputs of every business. Water is needed to generate energy, energy is required to clean and transport water, and both water and energy are required to grow food. In a sense then, there is energy embedded in each drop of water, there is water embedded in each joule of energy, and there is water embedded in each calorie of food.

The connections between the three resources have come to be known as the E-W-F “nexus.” While much has been written about the nexus in recent decades, little has been written to advise companies on how to understand and address their connections to it. Through a thorough review of 54 documents (vetted by government, industry, and NGO experts), the The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Insights for the Business Community identified steps that companies can take to understand and address their connections to the E-W-F nexus. These steps include:

  1. Understanding the interconnected nature of the nexus
  2. Surveying and Data Collecting to find a company’s total resource consumption, and from where the resources are consumed
  3. Assessing Risks and Opportunities to see how a corporation’s consumption of resources can impact business operations
  4. Implementing technologies and programs to mitigate nexus risks
  5. Collaborating with stakeholders to address shared risks
  6. Leading the charge to address nexus challenges through engaging the business community

As globalization progresses, the world’s resources and its economies are affected by actions from which they were formerly isolated. Understanding the energy, water, and food nexus is critical to any business that wants to understand the challenges it may face in the future.

Release Date: May 2014