Water stewardship and corporate sustainability: a case study of reputation management in the food and drinks industry
Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Public Affairs
How to Cite
Jones, P., Hillier, D. and Comfort, D. (2014), Water stewardship and corporate sustainability: a case study of reputation management in the food and drinks industry. J. Publ. Aff.. doi: 10.1002/pa.1534
- Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
The aim of this paper is to provide an exploratory review of the extent to which some of the leading companies in the food and drinks industry are publicly addressing water stewardship as part of their corporate sustainability strategies. The paper begins with an introductory outline of the growing importance of water stewardship and a brief discussion of corporate sustainability. The paper draws its empirical material from the most recent information on water stewardship posted by the leading companies in the food and drinks industry's corporate websites. The findings reveal that the vast majority of the selected companies address a number of elements concerning water stewardship as part of their more general approach to corporate sustainability. However, corporate commitments to water stewardship can be interpreted as being driven as much by business imperatives as by any specific concerns for environmental sustainability or a genuine desire to maintain the viability and integrity of natural ecosystems. More critically, the authors suggest that the selected companies' commitments to water stewardship are framed within existing business models focused on technological improvements in eco-efficiency and continuing economic growth. The paper provides an accessible review of the water stewardship issues being pursued by the leading players in the food and drinks industry, and as such, it will interest academics, students, political commentators and business managers interested in water stewardship and corporate sustainability. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.