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1. What is Water Stewardship?
The international Alliance of Water Stewardship defines water stewardship as the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial. Stewardship means taking care of something that we do not own and is often used to describe the responsible planning and management of natural resources. Good water stewards recognise the need for collective responses to the complex challenges facing the water resources we all rely on. Practically it means being a good water manager and having a good understanding of water risks related to your site and its catchment.
2. How does a water stewardship program help my business?
A water stewardship program will help your business by identifying and managing the water risks that could impact your operations or ability to operate. Risks that impact quality, quantity and the cost of available water are increasing around the world as a consequence of the water crisis and are being amplified by climate change. Addressing water risks is increasingly important to reduce financial and reputational pressure and ensure businesses are acting responsibly. Using a water stewardship framework allows any water user, anywhere in the world to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the global water crisis.
3. How could it benefit my business?
A water stewardship approach can create the following benefits:
4. Why do companies use water stewardship?
Companies with a good understanding of the importance of water to their business and an appreciation of the water risks that threaten ongoing production and business viability are drawn to water stewardship as a set of globally applicable tools for sustainable water management increasing their water security as well as contributing the economic, social and environmental sustainability of water within the catchment they share with other industries, business, communities and the environment.
5. What benefits does AWS certification provide to my business?
Certification is an easy way to show customers, employees, the community and your investors that you not only take your sustainability obligations seriously but that you are also addressing key issues that have the potential to significantly impact the long term viability of your operations. Being a certified water steward is a tangible example of your commitment to sustainable water management. It is risk management in action and can serve as a proxy for broader sustainability objectives.
AWS certification means you can make credible, independently verifiable claims about sustainable water management. The certification logo can be used in branding, marketing and other communications to verify that your site meets globally recognised best practice and is taking practical steps to confront water risks.
6. How can my business obtain AWS certification?
Certification is awarded after successful completion of an audit against the AWS standard. You can choose where to start, some start with a brief training session to increase their understanding of what water stewardship is and how the standard works, whereas others prefer to start with a gaps analysis of their operation against the key elements of the standard. Both approaches are valid although we consider the gaps review is the most useful. An AWS Accredited Service Provider or a Professionally Credentialed Individual can support you in this. They can also assist in the implementation of the Standard through to certification.
7. Who is a certified water steward?
A mix of global and homegrown brands across a wide range of sectors have achieved water stewardship certification. Examples include Apple, Google, Nestle, Coca Cola, Ecolab, Olam, Inghams, Diagio and Renmark Irrigation Trust
8. What sort of costs are involved?
The costs involved with implementing the Standard broadly fall under the following categories:
9. What if I don’t want to be certified, can I still benefit from the water stewardship program?
Absolutely. Certification is not for everyone but the water stewardship framework can benefit every water using business no matter where they are located.
10. I own a small manufacturing business, is AWS suitable for me?
Yes, AWS is suitable for businesses and organisations of all sizes.
11. What services can Cress provide my business with?
Cress Consulting is a specialist provider of sustainability services and an experienced water stewardship credentialed specialist offering consulting, training and auditing services. Cress understands how water risk can impact business operations and supply chains and its social licence to operate. We can help you determine the next step in securing the future water supply to improve the resilience of your operation or business.
12. Why do we need water stewardship?
There is a global water crisis and as a consequence our water resources are under increasing pressure. There is an urgent need to work together to ensure the sustainability of this vital resource on which we all depend. Putting the principles of good water stewardship into action can help ensure that water use for human and economic purposes is sustainable, doesn’t deplete the water resource or cause harm to the natural environment. A robust water stewardship framework can also help identify opportunities to improve water management for long term economic, environmental and social prosperity.
“Now is a great time to seriously question our use of water to better understand water supply risks, especially where there is no reliable alternative supply and make our businesses more resilient.” – Julia Seddon, CEO of Cress Consulting.