Water-related sustainability reporting practices amongst South African mining and non-mining corporations

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Globally, water resource management has emerged as an important research area and is acknowledged as a crucial factor in achieving sustainable development goals. Despite its significance, water-related sustainability disclosures regarding water and water-related risks among companies are alarmingly weak. Many companies are not effectively measuring, managing, and disclosing their water-related risks. Hence, this paper aims to analyze water-related reporting and disclosure requirements of a sample of ten South African mining and non-mining companies with a high water profile, listed on the JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index. The companies’ level of compliance on water disclosure was assessed based on their reporting in the integrated and or annual reports. The findings revealed that sampled five mining companies performed poorly in terms of disclosure across the frameworks of awareness, disclosure, management, and leadership. On the other hand, the selection of five non-mining companies grasped the severe effect of the water crisis on their businesses and performed better in all the framework categories. The average score for the selection of mining companies was 65% compared to the 93% for the non-mining companies. Stakeholders need to focus on water governance processes that require improvement to enable the stakeholders to make better decisions on water management; subsequently, this is an area that needs to be addressed in future research.

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    • Table 1. Water disclosure framework
    • Conceptualization
      Nadia Latiff
    • Data curation
      Nadia Latiff
    • Formal Analysis
      Nadia Latiff
    • Funding acquisition
      Nadia Latiff
    • Investigation
      Nadia Latiff
    • Methodology
      Nadia Latiff
    • Project administration
      Nadia Latiff, Ferina Marimuthu
    • Visualization
      Nadia Latiff, Ferina Marimuthu
    • Writing – original draft
      Nadia Latiff, Ferina Marimuthu
    • Validation
      Ferina Marimuthu
    • Writing – review & editing
      Ferina Marimuthu