Opinion

How the Gold Standard Water Benefit Standard Can Make Your Business’s Water Strategy More Sustainable

Water scarcity is an increasingly important topic of conversation on the global stage. With a growing number of high profile water shortages, and concerns that by 2050 over 4.8 billion people could be affected by water scarcity, more and more companies are treating water saving measures as a crucial business priority.

Brands such as Coca-Cola, Levi and L’Oreal have all made ambitious commitments to water sustainability, and others are following suit. As you might expect, improving efficiency and reducing usage are the main priorities of most corporate water strategies.

In this article we’ll introduce the Gold Standard Water Benefit Standard. This newly-launched scheme offers a new way for businesses to meet sustainability commitments, publicly demonstrate their contribution to water stewardship, and improve their reputation.

Who is Gold Standard?

Gold Standard is a certification body dedicated to defining standards for climate and development projects.

Their goal is to set and promote rigorous best practice standards, to ensure that projects aiming to positively impact the environment are easily measurable and rigorously monitored. In doing so, they ensure that funding and investment in these projects goes as far as possible.

What is the Gold Standard Water Benefit Standard?

Gold Standard’s Water Benefit Standard is a best practice framework for implementing sustainable water projects – for example, initiatives that either supply, conserve or purify water, increasing availability of clean water in areas that desperately need it.

By defining clear guidelines for measuring the impact of water sustainability projects, as well as by monitoring and checking their outcomes, Gold Standard can provide businesses who contribute funding for water sustainability projects with the confidence that their investment is having the desired impact.

The certification takes into account a wide range of different factors to measure the impact of water projects accurately. This includes measuring the “knock-on effect” of water projects on the surrounding area and environment, to ensure that any potential risks or negative impacts are identified and prevented.

Gold Standard’s Water Benefit Standard is currently being tested in pilot projects in Uganda and Ghana, and their goal is to implement 200 Water Benefit projects by 2020, benefitting over 3 million people worldwide.

What are Water Benefit Certificates?

For businesses who want to invest in water sustainability projects, Gold Standard offer Water Benefit Certificates. These work in a similar way to Carbon Credits, with each certificate representing a set volume of water that’s been supplied, conserved, or purified as part of a Water Benefit Standard certified project.

This means that companies can contribute in a measurable way to global projects which provide sustainable access to clean water. By purchasing Water Benefit Certificates, businesses can meet their commitments to sustainability or water stewardship goals, as well as offsetting their own water usage.

How Can the Water Benefit Standard Help My Business?

  • Offset your company’s environmental impact

 

Purchasing Water Benefit Certificates enables businesses to meet their water saving or sustainability targets, and also to offset the impact of their water usage by investing in projects elsewhere that reduce water scarcity. In doing so, businesses who invest in Water Benefit Certificates can demonstrate that they are having a measurable impact on global water projects, with benefits to their brand perception and reputation.

For businesses who wish to fund projects, Gold Standard provides a range of information on how to get involved on their website: https://www.goldstandard.org/get-involved/make-an-impact

  • Improve your company’s water stewardship

 

The Water Benefit Standard provides a valuable framework for businesses to improve their own internal water management. By defining best practice for water sustainability, the guidelines provide a useful benchmark for companies who wish to improve the sustainability of their own water usage.

In particular, the Water Benefit Standard provides a set of guidelines for measuring and understanding the impact of your business’s water usage. This focus on data and proven benefits is what sets Gold Standard’s certification apart from other, similar initiatives, and the same approach can deliver real impact to businesses. By implementing accurate measurement, and effectively identifying and managing risks, companies can control their own water usage and environmental impact, whilst also reducing costs.

Many businesses don’t have a holistic picture of their water usage. If this is true for you, the Water Benefit Standard sets a rigorous framework that’ll help you develop a clear understanding of how water can affect your operations, both now and in the future.

Understand the Impact of Your Business’s Water Usage

TWS offers a range of services and solutions for businesses to measure and reduce their water usage. Our Automated Meter Reading technology can help businesses achieve best practice standards of measurement defined in the Water Benefit Standard, and our expert consultancy and support can help your company develop a comprehensive strategy for understanding, reducing or offsetting your water usage.

To find out more about how we can help, read our case studies or contact us.

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