NRG Makes the "A-list" for Water Stewardship

by Dylan Siegler
Dec 12, 2017 8:55 AM ET

NRG Power Perspectives

NRG has joined the ranks of the CDP Water A-list, announced October 25, affirming our measurable corporate progress toward water stewardship. Only 14 U.S. companies are part of the list, and no other U.S. company in the “utilities” category (in which NRG is found) scored as high.

CDP is a global organization that manages voluntary reporting standards for corporations and other organizations dealing with climate change impact, forests, and water stewardship. CDP scores submissions for achievement in disclosure, awareness, management, and leadership, and aims to encourage and reward:

  • A commitment to transparency around environmental risks
  • How comprehensively reporting companies have considered their water impacts, how their water practices affect communities and ecosystems, and how comprehensively companies are considering the impacts of water security on their business
  • The application of water management measures such as targets or facility-level monitoring

Companies eligible for an A are those that achieve 80% of the points available and make their reporting response public.

What does it mean to NRG to manage water sustainably?

NRG’s business and the communities where we operate are dependent on water availability and healthy watersheds.  We are working to demonstrate our commitment to use water in a way that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial by:

  • Measuring our performance. NRG assesses water stress and water and wastewater management performance regularly in priority watersheds to better understand the effects of our direct and indirect impacts on communities and ecosystems.
  • Setting meaningful targets and managing water proactively. In 2016, NRG announced our goal to reduce water use by 40% by 2030, and we will continue to develop performance standards and procedures to improve water efficiency and wastewater quality and treatment. We are also working to understand water practices throughout our supply chain.  
  • Communicating our progress. Through avenues such as CDP and our own sustainability report, we aim to engage and educate our stakeholders about our policies, practices and outcomes.

Why is water stewardship important to NRG?

  • We believe water has value, both financially to NRG in terms of costs and risks, and intangibly to communities and ecosystems. Understanding where in our water supply network we can intervene to ensure positive outcomes for NRG and other stakeholders is crucial to business growth.
  • Stakeholders care. From investors to NGOs to customers to employees, our stakeholders want to understand risk associated with environmental issues, such as air emissions and water supplies, alongside financial returns.

The number of companies scoring an A on CDP’s water index represents a threefold rise from 2016 (from 25 to 73), indicating that water stewardship is increasingly recognized as a vital element of sustainable business strategy. Seventy percent of reporting companies indicated that water security was a topic of dialogue in the board room.

We agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment CDP expressed in announcing the scores: “Companies that measure their environmental risk are better able to manage it strategically. And those that are transparent and disclose this information are providing decision makers with access to a critical source of global data that delivers the evidence and insight required to drive action.”