WIC understands that it is critical for companies and organisations have a social licence to operate, i.e. that they operate in ways which protect, and ideally improve, the natural environment. This is particularly so for the primary sector, where there is the potential for significant environmental effects. Consumers and the wider community now expect higher levels of environmental protection than at any previous time.
Water quality is top of mind for the New Zealand public and there are also other areas where there are potentially significant effects. These include water quantity and usage, indigenous biodiversity, groundwater effects, the loss of wetlands, soil erosion and sediment control, and instream physical processes (such as habitat effects).
Through its water stewardship initiatives, WIC aims to tangibly show appreciation for the allocation of freshwater for irrigation purposes.