Water. It fills our rivers, feeds our crops, falls from the sky and even makes up 80% of our body mass. Yet too often, the accessibility, use and quality of this vital life source is not respected. That is why the Alliance for Water Stewardship unites organisations around one mission: to lead a global network that promotes the responsible use of freshwater that is socially and economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable.
They achieve this mission through a global water stewardship system, owned and governed by a membership of socially responsible organisations across all sectors: leading businesses, non-profits, public sector agencies and academic institutes. The membership program, which South Pole Group proudly joined in June, works to drive, recognize and reward good water stewardship performance.
Our corporate water stewardship work to date encompasses collective action approaches for companies that are exposed to water risks, with a focus on engaging stakeholders in catchment-based programmes along agricultural supply chains. Examples range from restoring watersheds through reforestation, capturing methane from wastewater treatment plants, to Water Access Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects. As a pioneer in corporate sustainability, South Pole Group have been leveraging linkages of carbon with water since 2006. Advancing water sustainability plays a pivotal role in how we mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, support effective responses to business risks and seize opportunities, not only to the benefit of the company but also of other users in the basin. South Pole group also develops diverse financing mechanisms for the implementation of these solutions, using innovative market based approaches to create financial viability from sustainable development.
The membership comes at a pivotal time in the Water Stewardship journey, with South Pole Group positioned to develop water projects in stressed catchments where companies operate or source from. By joining the AWS, South Pole Group can continue to refine our water stewardship practices, assisting companies in all steps: designing, implementing, certifying and managing targeted local water projects. At the same time, based on our extensive experience in developing sustainability projects worldwide, we can bring valuable insights to further developing the AWS standard, working alongside global organisations to meet the generated and changing nature of water challenges.