Water Footprint Network’s partner, Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), has awarded its new global standard for water stewardship to Ecolab’s Inc.'s manufacturing plant in Taicang, China, making it the first site in the world to be independently certified under the AWS’s Standard.
The AWS Standard is an ISEAL-compliant framework developed to promote sustainable fresh water use and to evaluate water stewardship practices. Developed through a four-year, multi-stakeholder process that included diverse business, public sector and civil society organisations, it provides a set of globally consistent water stewardship criteria and indicators to improve water management at a site and catchment level.
Like Water Footprint Network, Ecolab is a founding member of AWS. It partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to field test and implement the framework at its Taicang manufacturing plant, the company’s largest site in the Asia Pacific region, which is located in a water-sensitive area in the Taihu basin of the Yangtze region.
Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. said: “We help more than one million customers around the world reduce their water footprints, and believe it’s essential that we also leverage this expertise to advance water stewardship within our own operations.”
Ecolab is one of nearly 30 leading organisations from across sectors to advance the efforts of AWS to protect the world’s limited freshwater resources. The work has resulted in a systematic approach to water stewardship that included implementation of water reduction strategies within the facility, as well as collective action with other water users and stakeholders operating within the same catchment.
The AWS Standard certification was undertaken by TÜV Rheinland, an independent third-party AWS-accredited organisation responsible for assessment of Ecolab’s compliance with the AWS Standard.