This World Water Day, Nutrien announces WAVE Verification and continued commitment to water stewardship

Published: Mar 16, 2023

We're proud to announce Nutrien has received the Water Council’s WAVE Verification, demonstrating our commitment to water stewardship in agriculture through a credible, independently verified Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) claim. This verification indicates that we have assessed water-related risk across the enterprise, identified the highest water-related impacts using credible water-related data and implemented best practice in improving water stewardship performance. 

One outcome of implementing The Water Council’s WAVE program has been Nutrien’s ability to understand internally and communicate externally its water stewardship commitment. The Water Council created the WAVE program to accelerate corporate water stewardship performance by providing a framework that helps organizations assess water uses, impacts and risks across the business.

Our manufacturing processes and global agricultural production are highly dependent on water and can be a contributor to water quality concerns if not properly managed. Water is a shared resource, not only in the surrounding communities where we operate, but also for the natural ecosystem upon which we depend. Using water efficiently and protecting water quality helps ensure operational stability.

Companies that implement the WAVE program are required to seek independent verification from SCS Global Services. The Water Council is one of the world’s most knowledgeable non-profit organizations focused on helping companies address their shared water-related challenges and opportunities. Founded in 2009, the non-profit organization is a global hub dedicated to solving critical global water challenges by driving freshwater innovation and advancing water stewardship.

The process

The six-step WAVE process helps companies identify and prioritize current water use challenges, risks and sites that require immediate action. Once these findings have been assessed, a corporate water stewardship policy is approved alongside a corporate plan with specific goals and timelines. Nutrien looked at 27 manufacturing sites and terminals across North and South America as part of a watershed risk assessment.

“WAVE helped us understand, accelerate, and formalize our pathway and processes for water stewardship. I found it useful as a springboard to move from thinking and talking about water management, to a mindset of water stewardship. This helps us not just to mitigate water related risks, but to create shared value in the communities where we operate. The more companies that do water stewardship, the more you change the global mindset on water, which is how progress happens,” says Mike Nemeth, Nutrien Sr. Advisor, Agricultural & Environmental Sustainability.

Accelerator Methodology


Advancing Nutrien’s efforts in water stewardship

As part of the process, Nutrien developed a corporate position on water stewardship which was approved by the Executive Leadership Team and shared both internally and externally. Additionally, Nutrien created a cross-functional water team that was able to develop a volumetric water target which is to: Reduce annual freshwater use in current operations at higher-risk and higher-use manufacturing facilities by 3.0 million cubic meters by 2025, which cumulatively is expected to reduce freshwater use by 30 million cubic meters by 2030[1].

More information regarding our water stewardship efforts and current water target can be found on page 46 of the 2023 ESG Report. The process Nutrien went through with WAVE helped identify our higher water-risk facilities and act on risk mitigation opportunities by working with local stakeholders in those watersheds.

“From our involvement in the WAVE Program, Nutrien has a good understanding of how we can positively impact water stewardship across our global footprint, which includes our operations, supporting our grower customers, and the downstream agri-food value-chain through on-farm management practices,” says Mike.

To learn more about Nutrien’s WAVE verification click here.

To read Nutrien’s 2023 ESG Report click here.

[1] Improvement is on an intensity basis vs 2018.