Skip to main content

Corporate Water Risk and Strategy Workshop Series

Water issues have become a fundamental risk consideration for any company involved in manufacturing, with an extractive or agricultural supply chain, or operating in water-stressed regions. This workshop series provides students with a basic fluency in the terminology of water risk.

Corporate Water Risk and Strategy Workshop Series

Water issues have moved beyond the province of the beverage industry and water utilities. They are now an integral piece of the risk matrix for companies involved in manufacturing, those with an extractive or agricultural supply chain, and those operating in water-stressed regions.

This series aims to increase the discourse around water use at the commercial and industrial levels.  It will provide students with a basic fluency in the terminology of water risk, as well as the relevant tools, ideas and processes needed to succeed in a corporate environment. Students will analyze the topic of corporate water resources management through the lens of corporate risk and strategy.

The 2019 Workshop Series

Project Course Title: Corporate Water Risk and Strategy Workshop - FES 1153-05

The Issue

If you care about beer, you should care about water. 

Water touches every part of the beer supply chain - from agricultural production of hops and grains to being the key ingredient of beer itself (95% of beer is water!), to keeping brewery equipment sanitized, which allows for the magic of fermentation. 

study from the World Wildlife Fund and AB InBev found that the water footprint for beer ranges from 45-155 liters of water per liter of beer. That’s up to 40 gallons of water for every gallon of beer (for reference, the average American shower uses only 15 gallons).

Breweries also face environmental concerns material to their business. Even the biggest breweries in the industry fret about water; in their 10-Ks, beer companies cite water quality and scarcity as key risk factors in their future business operations. 

The Workshop

For this workshop, students will actively partner with The Connecticut Brewers Guild and a number of their 90-member craft breweries in the state. Breweries in Connecticut are grappling with a variety of water issues including wastewater reclamation and spent grain recovery. The Connecticut Brewers Guild is excited to work closely with student teams on real-world solutions that can have an immediate and direct impact on the industry.

Throughout the series, students will strengthen their understanding of how water issues impact business practices. Each session will feature different guest speakers leading policy, supply chain, or operations initiatives connected to the beer industry. For the final deliverable, student teams will develop sustainability management recommendations for local breweries that may ultimately be integrated into the brewers’ everyday practices.

Dates and Locations

Students from across Yale are invited to participate, allowing for a wide breadth of knowledge and experience within the teams. The workshop will be held over five sessions in Fall 2 on Thursday evenings. There may be Friday morning brewery visits added to the schedule, and each team of students will be encouraged to schedule a visit to breweries in CT related to their research question:

  • Oct 24th - 4:30-7:30 Kickoff Meeting (and brewery tour!)
  • Oct 31- 4:30-7:30, Room TBD
  • Nov 7 - 4:30-7:30, Room TBD 
  • Nov 14 - 4:30-7:30, Room TBD
  • Nov 21 - 4:30-7:30, Room TBD
  • Dec 5 - 4:30-7:30, Room TBD - Final Presentations

Registration info

If you are interested in joining the workshop, please fill out this short application by October 9th. Enrollment in the workshop will be limited to roughly 20 students. 

This workshop is offered for 1.5 credits at FES and 1 credit at SOM. Once you are accepted into the workshop, you will need to register for the project course by submitting the below add/drop form to F&ES Registrar’s office by October 21, 2019.

Download the Add Drop form


Questions about the workshop? Please contact Cortney Ahern ( or Max Storto (

People & Partners

Todd Cort

Lecturer in Sustainability at Yale School of Management
Faculty Co-Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment

Max Storto

MBA 2020
Master of Environmental Management 2020