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Managing water efficiency to enable sustainable growth

Water is increasingly recognized as a critical sustainable development issue, along with energy, food security and climate change. Globally, per capita the availability of fresh water is decreasing and the trend will inevitably continue as the world’s population increases and the effects of climate change become more apparent. According to United Nations’ estimates, in 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress. This so called ‘water stress’ is expected to worsen in many parts of the world as a result of factors including: urbanization and population growth, increasing food production, changing consumption patterns, industrialization, water pollution, and climate change. In 2010 the United Nations General Assembly declared that access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights.

As such, water-related risks are emerging as an important corporate strategic issue, which will become increasingly significant over the next decade. Such risks may impact industry’s site selection, license to operate, productivity, costs, revenues, and ultimately, profits and the viability of certain operations.

OMV Water Strategy

Water Management is one of OMV’s Resourcefulness focus areas. In 2014, we developed a water management framework that includes a Water Ambition Statement and a Water Strategy 2021.

The three-staged implementation phase of the water strategy: short, mid and long-term is defined in our strategic roadmap 2021 based on five strategy pillars:

  • Transparency – Improve water data availability and quality and demonstrate continuous improvement in Water Disclosure as an integrated Oil and Gas company.
  • Risks and Opportunities – Understand and manage water-related risks for all current sites and future operations and ensure legal compliance.
  • Water Efficiency and Treatment – Reduce freshwater withdrawal intensity and improve water discharge quality of activities where OMV is the operator and utilize current and future water supplies sustainably.
  • Training and Awareness – Create water awareness and capabilities throughout the organization.
  • Engaging with stakeholders – Build trustful relationships on water issues with external stakeholders and uphold the human right for water in relation to our business activities.

OMV Water Management

Effective water management helps reduce costs and risks. OMV Corporate Environmental Management Department is responsible to generate OMV’s water inventory based on international standards and best practice. This ensures a consistent approach across the Group. 

CDP Water

CDP is a nonprofit organization which holds the largest collection of self-reported climate change and water data. CDP is an important investment decision tool, especially for SRI investor. We report since 2006 to CDP Climate Change and belong since years to the top CDP performers in the Oil & Gas Industry. In 2016 we reported for the first time to CDP Water.

For the second time in a row, OMV AG has achieved in 2017 a CDP Water score of "A-" (Leadership) and achieved to be one of the global leaders in the sector "Energy" and the sector "integrated Oil & Gas". With this strong result OMV shows a high level of transparency with regard to water measuring and monitoring, water risk assessment and management, target and goals setting as well as engagement and response. A CDP leadership score of "A-" shows that a company as taken steps that represent best practice in the field of environmental and water management.