Crafting an ESG Framework for Water Utilities

Jacobs - an engineering and consulting firm - has joined forces with The Water Research Foundation to spearhead an essential development: a comprehensive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework and best practices guide tailored for water utilities within the United States.


Why a Dedicated ESG Framework for Water Utilities?


Water utilities shoulder a vast array of responsibilities: safeguarding water resources, mitigating environmental impacts, ensuring affordability and equity, and upholding the highest standards of governance.  Challenges like climate change and emerging regulations only add complexity to this landscape.


An ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) framework empowers utilities to:


  • Identify crucial ESG metrics relevant to their unique operations and goals.
  • Effectively track and communicate ESG performance for transparency and accountability.
  • Navigate compliance as ESG standards continue to evolve.
  • Secure funding by positioning themselves as responsible stewards, aligning with investor expectations.


This initiative, supported by the US Water Alliance, the Government Finance Officers Association, and eight diverse water utilities, leverages a wealth of sector-specific knowledge.  Insights from partners who have undertaken their own ESG assessments will be instrumental in shaping the final guidance.


This timely project underscores the water sector's proactive approach to sustainability and responsible resource management.  The anticipated ESG framework promises to be an invaluable tool for water utilities across the US.  To learn more about the project and funding, click here. 

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Shaina Shay is an accomplished water professional with over a decade of experience in water policy, management, conservation, and community outreach. Her passion for pragmatic information sharing drives her work across the U.S. and Australia, where she has held roles with investor-owned utilities and as a senior water market specialist. Shaina's commitment to the field is reflected in her leadership positions within the American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Southern Arizona Water Users Association (SAWUA).