• Natural Capital Declaration
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  • Natural Capital Declaration
  • Natural Capital Declaration

Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool

Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool and Report

Summary version

Access the tool
NCD/GIZ/VfU webinar, September 2015
NCD/GIZ/VfU tool for corporate bond credit analysis – Integrating water stress factor into credit assessments of bond issuers in the Beverages, Mining and Power Utilities sectors
This tool for financial institutions to incorporate water risk in corporate bond credit risk analysis allows users to integrate water stress into company credit analysis. Developed through a partnership between the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Association for Environment and Sustainability in Financial Institutions (VfU), it contains analysis of 24 companies in the beverages, mining and power sector, and allows users to add their own companies and analysis.
Demand for analytics to integrate water risk factors into investment analytics is growing in response to evidence that water crises are a significant economic risk, as highlighted in the World Economic Forum 2015 Global Risks Report. Greater unpredictability in precipitation as a result of climate change combined with a growing population could lead to a 40% gap between water supply and demand worldwide within 15 years. Increasingly, companies are finding it challenging to access sufficient quantities of water for critical business operations, especially in water-stressed regions. The costs of securing water inputs are already rising for water-intensive companies in locations vulnerable to water shortages. Since 2011 companies have spent more than $84 billion worldwide on conserving, managing and obtaining water.
The GIZ/NCD/VfU “Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool” enables users to integrate financial risk exposure to water scarcity into standard financial models used to assess the credit strengths of corporates across water-intensive sectors including power utilities, beverages and mining. The tool addresses an information gap in traditional financial analysis. It enables analysts to identify companies that depend heavily on access to water in locations that are exposed to water stress and to quantify the potential impact of water scarcity on the company’s creditworthiness. By combining data on the quantity of corporate water use per production location with data on site-specific water supply and demand conditions, the tool allows financial analysts to quantify corporate exposure to water stress and its potential impact on a company’s credit ratios. The Excel-based tool provides investors with a systematic and practical approach to assess water risk in corporate bonds and benchmark companies against sector peers, taking account of projected changes in water availability to 2040.
The project partners also developed a stand alone tool without the credit analysis for those only interested in the shadow water price functionality by location and country.
The Excel-based tools are free to download, allowing financial analysis and other users to test the methodology with their own assumptions and add new company analysis to the framework.

Please click here to access the tools, full report with guidance on using the tool, and a summary report.

This link takes you to a registration page, which will email you the link once you have filled in your details. We would welcome any feedback on the analytical framework and tool.


If you have any difficulties accessing the tool or would like to provide feedback, please contact secretariat@naturalcapitaldeclaration.org
The full and summary reports are also available below:
Full version
Summary version

Key findings from the application of the tool for the 24 companies include:
• Exposure to water scarcity varies significantly within sectors, depending on water use in water-stressed locations, combined with sensitivity to changes in key financial ratios.
• In the beverages sector Femsa, the Mexican bottling company, is most exposed to water scarcity of the eight beverages companies analysed. Its Net Debt/EBITDA ratio would more than triple if it had to internalize the full costs of its water use.
• Of the eight mining firms analysed, Barrick Gold and Vedanta are most exposed. Barrick Gold could would see its Net Debt/EBITDA ratio rise by 20% to 3.30x in 2017 if current water shadow costs are internalised.
• Of the power companies analysed, Eskom, the South African utility, is most exposed to water stress and could see its financial position deteriorate drastically through operating restrictions or higher capital expenditure due to water shortages.
• Sempra, RWE and The Southern Company also have power plants that are exposed to water stress, and could face shut downs or operate at lower capacity in water-stressed areas. Sempra, RWE and The Southern Company see their leverage rise quite sharply, when they internalise the full cost of their water use. Sempra Energy could see its High Triple B rating fall to a non-investment grade rating: perhaps to High Double B, because its leverage rises 97% to 6.74x when we estimate current shadow water costs.
• Institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies can enhance their financial analysis by taking a more systematic approach to evaluating water-related financial risk. Benchmarking issuers on exposure to water stress provides a starting point to integrate water risk as a factor in corporate bond valuations.
NCD/GIZ/VfU webinar: Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool, September 2015

  • Introduction – Simone Dettling, GIZ Emerging Markets Dialogue Green Finance
  • Demo of tool – Anders Nordheim, Programme Coordinator for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Water, UNEP FI
  • Applications of the methodology and value add for engagement/integration – Peter van der Werf, Engagement Specialist, Robeco
  • Potential to enhance due diligence and inform product development – Claudio Paonessa, Assistant Vice President, Asset Management Bonds & Absolute Return, J Safra Sarasin
  • Allan Provins, Eftec
  • Integration of water credit risk tool – Kent Siefers, Senior High Yield Analyst, Pax World