Certification demonstrates that a site has successfully completed each of the steps in the AWS Standard. Certificate holders tell us that achieving AWS certification brings demonstrable benefits in regards of relationships with customers, increased investor confidence, strengthened social license to operate, brand perception and dialogue with regulators and policy makers.
Why get certified?
Certification is confirmation of having met the global benchmark for responsible water stewardship. Implementing the AWS Standard without certification will certainly help you address water challenges but only independent verification and certification can provide the assurance to external and internal stakeholders that your claims of good water stewardship are credible. Certificate holders use their AWS Standard certification to demonstrate the efficacy of their water stewardship practice to a range of audiences, such as retail customers, wholesalers, consumers, government agencies, regulators, NGO’s, local civil society organizations, local communities, investors and development financiers, and more.
Is my site suitable for AWS certification?
The AWS Standard is intended to be applicable to any type and size of organization in any location. Achieving certification to the AWS Standard is a mark of a site having met the global benchmark for applying water stewardship at a site level and beyond the fence line into the wider catchment.
Where two or more small sites (such as small business or farms) are physically close to each other and where the share certain characteristics, such as catchment location and similar water-related interests and/or challenges, they are encouraged to consider group or multi-site implementation, which is permitted under the AWS certification scheme. This will enable them to share knowledge and resources and to more effectively collaborate in collective action.
There are three levels of AWS Standard certification that a site may achieve: Core, Gold and Platinum. All core criteria must be met as a minimum requirement for certification. Additional points are awarded for performance against the advanced criteria. The greater the number of points achieved the higher the level of water stewardship performance and AWS certification.
Advanced criteria and higher-level certification were introduced to recognise that good water stewards seek continual improvement and commit to ongoing action to respond to the ever-evolving nature of local water context. Gold and Platinum status are rewards / recognition of those sites that push their water stewardship performance to elite level.
The points required for each certification level are:
AWS Core: 0 – 39 points
AWS Gold: 40 – 79 points
AWS Platinum: 80 or more points
A site’s certificate is valid for three years, subject to successful annual surveillance audits.