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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

Program Overview

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.

The Corporate Water Risk and Strategy Workshop is a six-week, student-run course that provides a platform for groups of students from across Yale to collaborate and work with a client on a current water-related business or supply-chain question. In past years, the majority of students have been from the School of Management and the School of the Environment, leading to teams with a strong mix of business and sustainability knowledge; however, students from all schools across Yale are encouraged to participate. This workshop was created out of a need to better understand the complexity of water-related risk and to integrate water risk awareness into corporate and supply chain practices and decision-making. It has been student-run since 2015.

Over the 6-week course, students will strengthen their understanding of water risk and management through presentations from experts in the field and conversations with the client and stakeholders. Students will analyze the topics of water resource materiality and risk through a holistic lens, with the end goal of developing solutions that address the shared risk water challenges pose to a supply chain, from agricultural to corporate operations. The case study presented by the client will provide students with basic fluency in the terminology of water risk, as well as the relevant tools, ideas, and processes needed to improve stakeholder communication and water resource management. At the end of the course, student groups will present their findings and proposals to the client.

The 2023 Workshop series

Interested in alternative grain beers, regenerative ag, or how private companies can support public water resources? 

This year’s client is Orange Bike Brewing Company, a gluten-free beer company based in Maine. Orange Bike Brewing was founded in 2021 and is the first gluten-free brewery in the Northeast, intending to diversify how beer is made and provide world-class quality. Orange Bike Brewing is deeply dedicated to its mission beyond beer, becoming a center of positive change in Maine, and is currently pursuing its B Corp certification.

Orange Bike Brewing is interested in benchmarking the environmental benefits of gluten-free grain beers compared to conventional beers, as well as documenting other environmental, health, and societal benefits of gluten-free beer. Students will also learn about the unique biogeochemical traits of the Sebago Lake watershed, which sources the Portland metro area with water, and how the city’s water utility has engaged public and private partnerships to ensure a healthy future water supply.

You can see the workshop syllabus here.

Registration info

Applications for the 2024/2025 workshop will open in August 2024

Enrollment in the workshop will be limited to approximately 20 students. The workshop will be held over six Monday sessions from 4 - 7PM in Fall-2 2024 semester. 

This workshop is offered for 1.5 credits at YSE 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 YSE Registrar’s office.  YSE Add/Drop Form can be found here:

People & Partners

Aidan Lyde

Master of Environmental Management 2025

Todd Cort

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

Stuart DeCew

Executive Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
MBA 2011
Master of Environmental Management 2011

Program Alumni

Rob Rioux

Darya Wecker (Watnick)

Kristen Wraithwall

Jeamme Chia

Cortney Ahern Renton

Susannah Harris

Max Storto

Alli Chlapaty

Lucy Kessler

Caitlin Chiquelin