The webinar introduces the Organizational Water Footprint (OWF) methodology, the OWF online tool and the WELLE database with regionalized OWF inventory database. Learn more about the BMBF-funded WELLE project via welle.see.tu-berlin.de.
The aim of the research project WELLE is to develop methodical and practical solutions to calculate the total water footprint of companies.
Most products are manufactured in international value chains, which means that a large share of Germany’s water consumption happens outside the country. The water needed to make our products is often consumed in regions of the world where water is extremely scarce. Examples include producing cotton in Central Asia, growing grain in North Africa, and extracting ores in desert regions. At the same time, companies usually only measure and manage their water consumption at their production sites – despite the fact that upstream energy and material chains often use significantly more water. This makes it impossible to identify and reduce the local impacts of water scarcity beyond the production sites. The method for calculating organizations’/companies’ water footprints closes this gap. By combining the life-cycle assessment method which provides a framework for assessing a company’s environmental impact, and the water footprint method, WELLE provided companies with a scientifically substantiated instrument, the use of which improves by a specific database and related tool. Initiating water use mitigation measures at the main water scarcity hotspots throughout the supply chain ensured the transfer of case study results.