Representing a collective $2.6 trillion, investors wrote letters challenging fifteen major food and beverage companies including Tyson Foods, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and Kraft Heinz to provide greater transparency and develop improved water risk management practices. Some big-name investors who signed with this plan of action include CalSTRS, Calvert Investments, Natixis Asset Management, and Walden Asset Management. With the global food market sector consuming nearly 70% of the world’s freshwater and 38% without an evaluation of water risks, investors are becoming increasingly concerned with the water management practices used by these food and beverage companies.  Growing populations, a tightening regulatory environment with regard to water quality, and extreme weather patterns are just a few things causing investors to grow uneasy.
“Many companies in the food sector behave as though the water is both cheap and limitless,” as stated in a recent report on Ceres.org. Ceres, an investor advocacy group, lead the campaign for increased transparency and improved water risk management. In the report, Ceres dials in on water risk management in the food market sector. Water risk management is a critical aspect for financial risk oversight due to climate change, overuse, pollution, and competition. 
According to an article in IR Magazine, investors have asked companies to, “set and implement strong systems to collect and interpret data on the company’s exposure to water risks within both its direct operations and supply chains.” Recommended to improve water risk management practices, according to the report on Ceres, companies should conduct robust water risk analysis, invest in projects that improve watershed health, support public policies that ensure sustainable water management, and improve disclosure to investors on water risks, performance, and strategies.  Developing a corporate water policy that sets out clear goals and guidelines for action is a long-term investment that could pay back both the company and the environment.
Based on Ceres’s report, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Molson Coors and PepsiCo are the only companies that, “have developed collaborative watershed protection plans that are linked to regions of high water risk.” Already extensively investing in water risk management, the Coca-Cola Company’s goal is to be water neutral by 2020. Coca-Cola and its bottling partners implemented a strategic business imperative to offset each gallon it uses by recycling or conserving a gallon somewhere else in the world. Greg Koch, global director of water stewardship at Coca-Cola, says that when water supply is stressed, “that presents risks, risk to those communities, those ecosystems, and all businesses operating there – including ours.”
- Investors call for better disclosure on water risk management
- Feeding Ourselves Thirsty: How the Food Sector is Managing Global Water Risks
- Coca-Cola’s water conservation plan
 Brown, Adam. Investors call for better disclosure on water risk management. IR magazine. http://www.irmagazine.com/articles/sustainability/20960/investors-call-better-disclosure-water-risk-management/
 Ceres. Feeding Ourselves Thirsty: How the Food Sector is Managing Global Water Risks. Ceres. http://www.ceres.org/issues/water/agriculture/water-risks-food-sector
 Kaplan, Jennifer. Coca-Cola’s water conservation plan. BusinessReport. http://www.iol.co.za/business/international/coca-cola-s-water-conservation-plan-1.1905947#.Vfnfy7SGhSV