Organizations commit to Alliance for Water Stewardship, support launch of international standard
Nestlé and General Mills were among major businesses that announced their commitment to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), alongside 27 other leading organizations including FEMSA Foundation, Water Footprint Network, WaterAid, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy, in promoting a global framework for sustainable use of the world’s limited freshwater resources.
The announcement comes as AWS releases the first International Water Stewardship Standard 1.0, a global framework to promote sustainable freshwater use.
AWS offers a variety of ways to improve, incentivize and recognize responsible water use, including helping members engage key stakeholders within their watershed and supply chain. The AWS Standard defines criteria for good water stewardship and was designed to align with other sustainability initiatives and support independent certification with varying levels of recognition.
The standard was developed through a four-year, multi-stakeholder, global water roundtable process that included a diversity of business, public sector and civil society interests from around the world, as well as pilot projects held in seven countries. Over the course of nine months, leading companies in pulp and paper, mining, chemicals, oil and gas, water service provision and agriculture applied the standard to test its feasibility and applicability. These projects helped define targets in water governance, water balance, water quality and other important water-related areas.
To encourage understanding and engagement around water, AWS is also launching a capacity-development program and membership opportunities. By joining AWS, organizations can learn what they can do to help protect shared resources, as well as shape the future of water stewardship.