News Archive: September 2016

Alliance for Water Stewardship / AWS International  / News Archive: September 2016

News Archive: September 2016


Senior figures from government, business and civil society, and a diverse range of case studies from across the region, ensured that the 2nd Asia Pacific Water Stewardship Forum was a meaningful learning exchange with rich discussions on how to advance water stewardship in different contexts.

Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Ayog) (pictured) provided the keynote on how water stewardship can support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Earlier Ravi Singh, CEO of WWF-India, Russell Rollason from the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Michael Spencer (AWS Chair) had introduced the event.

The Forum was co-convened by AWS, WSA and the India Water Stewardship Network (IWSN), whose members now include ITC, WaterAid India, Hindustan Unilever Foundation, the International Water Management Institute, CDP, WWF-India, CRB, and the Better Cotton Initiative.  This was the IWSN’s first public event.

A session on water stewardship in industry helped to identify some of the opportunities for advancing water stewardship, both in India and across the region. AS well as case studies from India and China, this session included two videos from projects in Pakistan

Water stewardship in agriculture was discussed with examples from China, Australia and India. The focus of the panel discussion was on opportunities for connecting business and community needs, and the potential for water stewardship in rainfed areas.

A short session examined the potential for water stewardship to support other initiatives, exemplified through the WAPRO project, the Better Cotton Initiative and the City Wide Partnership in Lahore, Pakistan.

A concluding session brought the discussion back to the SDGs, helping to understand how best water stewardship can support major development priorities like access to safe drinking water and sanitation.



Our list of speakers for the Global Water Stewardship Forum is now available on the Forum website at This milestone event in the evolution of water stewardship is taking place in Edinburgh on November 1 and 2 and will bring together pioneering water stewardship practitioners and promoters from around the world, providing a unique opportunity to advance the understanding and impact of AWS Water Stewardship, and to contribute to the further development of the global AWS Water Stewardship System.

Several of our members and partners will be convening sessions at the Forum, including WaterAid, CDP, Better Cotton Initiative, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and GIZ’s International Water Stewardship Programme.

Participation at the Forum is limited to 100 so early registration is advised to avoid disappointment.


Olam International, a leading agri-business operating in 70 countries, has achieved AWS certification for its Aviv Coffee Plantation in Southern Tanzania.  Aviv is the first agri-business site globally and first business in Africa to be AWS certified. Olam is now exploring rolling out the AWS Standard across other processing facilities and applying learnings to the water stewardship work they already do with its large-scale onion and tomato farmer suppliers. To read a full press release please visit:


German supermarket Edeka and WWF-Germany  have developed a ‘web-tool’ for water-management, which will make it easier to define, identify and record potential risks to freshwater supplies, incurred in the production process of commodities. Where a high risk to freshwater is identified at a production site, the Edeka  co-operative will apply the AWS Standard and pursue third-party certification, in addition to the existing agricultural standards. For more information please see


Recognizing the need for a coherent global water stewardship system to engage major water users with interests in multiple regions AWS the European Water Partnership (EWP) have reached an agreement to work together to achieve a single global water stewardship standard system compliant with ISEAL codes of good practice.  To read the full statement on this process please view the PDF: AWS EWS alignment communication.


A recent water stewardship workshop in Bangkok was a great success with more than 70 people registering from a broad range of leading business as well as industry associations. The workshop was the first joint presentation of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard and the WWF Water Risk Filter. The workshop heard how the Water Risk Filter could be used as a tool for assessing supply chain and operational water risk on a global basis as well as a regional basis. The Greater Mekong Region was hit with a debilitating drought earlier this year which brought home to many businesses the water risks they face even in a region traditionally regarded as water plentiful. WSA Secretary Michael Spencer took participants through the water stewardship system including the rationale, the AWS Standard, how the AWS Standard can work with other standards and normative systems, and the AWS verification system. Feedback from the workshop was very positive and follow-up meetings were held with the Federation of Thai Industries and the Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand to discuss the potential for ongoing relationships. The meetings were facilitated by Austrade (thank you) and the project is supported by the Australian Government’s Australian Water Partnership.


AWS had good exposure at the recent Stockholm World Water Week, including the launch of an implementation guide for the AWS Standard, published by WWF. This publication is available at:


AWS-North America Partners with Nestle USA

AWS-North America is working with Nestle USA to provide two days of AWS Training for Nestle USA plant managers and staff in Glendale, California. This training is geared specifically to those Nestle facilities in the US that have started or will start soon implementing the AWS Standard. From September 13-14, AWS will walk Nestle staff through all six steps of the Standard by utilizing a Nestle facility in Modesto, California as the case study to move beyond theory and into practice.

AWS Training in Washington, DC

AWS-North America is co-hosting three days of AWS Training with WWF at their US headquarters building in Washington, DC, October 11-13. Registration is now open and details, pricing, etc., can be accessed here. Note, WWF has worked to secure a block of hotel rooms at a discounted rate but registrants must make those hotel reservations by September 26. Participants will walk through all three levels of AWS training: Foundation, Advanced and Specialist levels offered sequentially on each of the three days. For interested parties based in North America, act now to register as this is the last AWS in-person training in 2016.

MillerCoors Engages AWS-North America

AWS-North America, the Fund for Lake Michigan and MillerCoors are partnering to support implementation of the AWS Standard at the MillerCoors Milwaukee brewery. This historic brewery is located on the banks of the Menomonee River which flows into Lake Michigan a few short miles away. The catchment is highly urbanized and suffers from high levels of polluted stormwater runoff and a shifting regulatory environment. It also happens to be the same watershed in which the Global Water Center sits (the first commercial office building in the world to implement the AWS Standard). Despite being a water abundant region, MillerCoors recognizes the importance of water stewardship at this site and the array of quality, regulatory and reputational risks that may impact the brewery.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) to include AWS Standard in its Impact Investing Metrics Database

AWS-North America and the GIIN have collaborated to identify the alignment between the indicators in the AWS Standard and the GIIN’s IRIS metrics database. IRIS is the catalog of generally accepted performance metrics that impact investors around the world use to measure and manage social, environmental, and financial success, to evaluate deals, and to grow the credibility of the impact investing industry. It is a free resource the GIIN hosts as one of the public goods it provides to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing.  This alignment aims to progress the use of standardized metrics and processes that will help advance the use of social and environmental performance data for impact investing decision-making and help alleviate the reporting burden on organizations that are using both the AWS Standard and IRIS metrics. Both investors and businesses can contribute to the alleviation of water challenges by adopting a water stewardship strategy that addresses the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of water. Recognizing the increased positions that impact investors are taking in water investments, IRIS and AWS partnered to establish an alignment between the two tools. The AWS Standard can be used at the due diligence stage for screening, and for reporting, to assess and communicate water risks and opportunities. The IRIS metrics can be used to complement the AWS Standard to set specific social and environmental targets and manage against them during the course of the investment. Organizations can access a detailed alignment document online soon at .


First water stewardship Visit to Papua New Guinea

Three representatives from our regional partner Water Stewardship Australia (WSA) recently visited Papua New Guinea (PNG) as the guest of a local enterprise interested in exploring the potential of water stewardship for their operations. The visit was part of WSA’s Indo-Pacific Water Stewardship Project supported by the Australian Government’s Australian Water Partnership. The team reviewed the operation, its input and output water and catchment issues and made a number of recommendations to the management on actions it could take to improve water balance, water quality, important water related areas and water governance. The operation was well run and management appreciated the input and the work of the team. A set of follow-up actions was agreed. WSA is looking forward to continuing to work with the operation and others in PNG and the Pacific region.

Kunshan Qiandeng Industrial Park Water Stewardship Project

As part of WWF’s Taihu Water Stewardship Program, the Kunshan Qiandeng Industrial Park Water Stewardship Project was officially kicked off in July.  AWS is core partner for the project implementation, the project expert team also includes professors from Tsinghua University, Tongji University and Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology.  The project team conducted a 2-day site visit during 6-7 July and successfully delivered the first capacity building to local companies from textile, printed circuit board (PCB) and chemical sectors on August 23rd.

High Level Sustainability Standards and Certification Development Forum in Beijing hosted by the ISEAL Alliance

The China Certification and Accreditation Institute and the ISEAL Alliance hosted the High Level Sustainability Standards and Certification Development Forum in Beijing on June 22nd with the theme of the event being Sustainability standards, certification and accreditation, sustainable development, and new models of competitiveness within the Chinese context.

Our Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Zhenzhen XU was invited as panel speaker to share AWS’s experiences in China and how the implementation of water stewardship standards can help China to achieve its sustainable development goals.

Schools connect with Water Stewardship

Students from Somerville Secondary College in Victoria, Australia have connected with Zhongce Vocational School in Hangzhou, China about water stewardship, reports the Western Port News. The students have started sharing project experience and data on water saving, water protection and water monitoring activities in their own school grounds and local water catchments. The schools are some of the first in the world involved with water stewardship, around which AWS Asia Pacific are aiming to build a collaborative program.

Somerville Secondary are developing a site water stewardship plan as part of the Building a Water Stewardship Community in Western Port project funded by the Helen MacPherson-Smith Trust.

BCI Implementing Partners Meeting, Hong Kong

Zhenzhen XU was invited to introduce the AWS to implementation partners of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and provide the perspective of another standard system on the importance of water management in agriculture. We are building our collaboration with BCI and very excited about the opportunities to support a more catchment-focused approach to water for BCI implementing partners. BCI will be presenting at the Asia Pacific Water Stewardship Forum in Delhi and will co-convene a session at the Global Water Stewardship Forum in Edinburgh, together with another AWS member the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.  For more information on BCI please visit

TEDA Project Preparation Site Visits

Zhenzhen Xu and Prof John Langford (Director, Water Stewardship Australia) just spent a 3-day visit with the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) with the purposed of finalizing the work plan for the TEDA Industrial Park Water Stewardship Demonstration Project with our local partner: TEDA Eco Center. The project includes the development of a common water stewardship framework in the TEDA area, capacity building of the top-30 industrial water users and phase 1 demonstration of the AWS Standard by 5-10 leading companies.

For more news from Asia-Pacific please visit


Founding an Africa Water Stewardship Network (AWSN)

Seventeen leading thinkers and actors in the realm of water stewardship, drawn from Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa have begun the process of founding the Africa Water Stewardship Network (AWSN). This development follows the expression of a need for such a network at the Water Stewardship Leaders Forum in Arusha in April 2016. Its purpose is to advance water stewardship in Africa for the benefit of all water users and to ensure that African contexts, needs and priorities are considered within the development and application of the AWS Standard and international governance framework. Founding members will help shape the form, reach and focus of this network, with an immediate task of ensuring suitable means of engagement with AWS ahead of our AGM on November 3rd   in Edinburgh.

Regional networks are a key part of a process to ensure that AWS governance is grounded in local ownership and experience.

Healthy appetite for AWS training in Africa

Training on the Foundation, Advanced and Specialist levels of the AWS Standard is progressing well in Southern and Eastern Africa where 75% of the 86 trainees have completed all 3 levels. The breakdown of delegates shows a balanced spread of Business (40); Government (26); Civil Society (20). The Eastern & Central Africa / Southern Africa split has been 50:50. The next training is scheduled to take place in Kenya in October.

A further encouraging aspect of the training is the number of delegates who are already engaged in collective action platforms of a variety of forms ranging from formal Catchment Management Agencies or Boards; the Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform, the Strategic Water Partners Network (South Africa) and internationally supported tertiary education networks that link closely with formal and informal structures at a variety of levels. Then there are the international NGOs and development consultancies and agencies who themselves work in networks, into which they feed their learning on the AWS Standard.  Business has many networks into which at least 40 new voices are speaking about the AWS Standard and what it means to them.


Latin America and the Caribbean

The first training as part of the project  “AWS Water Stewardship: Supporting the Sustainability and Competitiveness of Peruvian Asparagus” was held in Lima in July. This project is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs through its “Secompetivo” program, and seeks to address water as a major risk factor to the asparagus sector through multi-stakeholder collaboration driven by the implementation of AWS water stewardship with growers in La Libertad. The project brings together major value chain stakeholders. Founding partners include AWS, Centro de Investigación of Universidad del Pacífico, Marks & Spencer, Coop (Switzerland), Barfoots, IFC/2030 Water Resources Group, DanPer and SGS. The partners are actively seeking to engage other producers, retailers and policy-makers in the project to increase uptake of AWS water stewardship in the Peruvian asparagus sector. For more information, please download a short summary of the project: Peru asparagus summary June16


Our planned training in Lahore had to be postponed for logistical reasons. We hope to confirm a new date for this in the coming weeks. WE also want to leverage the momentum in Pakistan to engage local stakeholders and establish a water stewardship network. Currently two sites in Pakistan are implementing the AWS Standard: Nestle in Sheikhupura, Punjab and Archroma in Jomshoro, Sind. Lessons from both of these sites will be featured at the Asia Pacific Water Stewardship Forum in Delhi on September 13th.

The same event is the first to be co-convened by the recently-established India Water Stewardship Network (IWSN), and we will be using this event to strengthen and broaden participation in the IWSN.


Asia-Pacific Water Stewardship Forum, New Delhi, September 13th

Water Scarcity & Drought Summit, Brisbane, Australia, October 10th. More info at

Global Water Stewardship Forum, Edinburgh, November 1st and 2nd: