© Dennis Siqueira


Within WWF’s Water Stewardship work, Retail is a grouping that includes any company that is involved in selling products to consumers. These companies can either be specialist retailers (i.e., specialising in the sale of food products only) or multiline retailers (i.e., sell a wide range of products). 

Companies in this sector typically have a relatively “small” direct impact on water through their operations, but typically a very large indirect impact on water through their suppliers. The sale of products made by other companies presents the challenge of a high dependency (and risk) on water through their supply chains. These source-sheds are often shared with other retailers and this creates the need to collaborate and engage with others to address shared water challenges. However, with large purchasing volumes, companies within their sector often wield large influence thereby offering this sector the opportunity to help drive improvements with suppliers at scale in basins. 

WWF has been working with the retail sector on water challenges for many years. This transformational work has ranged from supporting partners assessing commodity water risk and shaping credible water strategies that shape their sustainable sourcing, to working with key suppliers on issues such as training, collective action and investment feasibility evaluation. Leveraging our global brand, we also work with retailers to advocate to industry peers and customers alike, raising awareness and catalyzing positive change.

Notable WWF transformational corporate partnerships within this sector include:


  • Coop
  • Edeka 
  • Migros
  • Tesco
  • Woolworths

Multiline Retail 

  • Coop
  • Migros 
  • IKEA

Key reports that WWF has been involved in that are connected to this sector include: