Water Stewardship
Version 3.0

Treating Clean Water as a Valuable Resource and Fundamental Human Right

Water stewardship creates awareness and drive towards the treatment of water as a valuable resource by encouraging effective management and use strategies. Every product manufacturer has an important responsibility to care for this vital resource, and would be wise to effectively manage water resources. These goals are addressed within the Program by encouraging an understanding of, and responsibility for, water withdrawals, consumption, and releases within local ecosystem(s), and awarding innovation in the areas of conservation, quality, and social fairness.

A context-driven approach

Water stewardship approaches are highly attuned to geographic region and production process. As such, the Water Stewardship category encourages manufacturers to identify relevant issues in the local watershed of a manufacturing facility and production issues affecting water in specific industries.



Version 3.0 Standard Requirements

See Version 2.1.1 standards

The table below lists each unique requirement within the Water Stewardship category. To achieve a given level, the requirements at all lower levels are to be met as well. The C2C Certified Product Standard provides interpretation and suggested methods for achievement.

basic
  • The manufacturer has not received a significant violation of their discharge permit within the last two years.
  • Local- and business-specific water-related issues are characterized (e.g., the manufacturer will determine if water scarcity is an issue and/or if sensitive ecosystems are at risk due to direct operations).
  • A statement of water stewardship intentions describing what action is being taken for mitigating the identified problems and concerns is provided. At re-application, progress on action plans is demonstrated.
bronze
  • A facility-wide water audit is completed.
silver
  • Product-related process chemicals in effluent are characterized and assessed. OR
  • Supply chain-relevant water issues for at least 20% of Tier 1 suppliers are characterized and a positive impact strategy is developed (required for facilities with no product-relevant effluent).
gold
  • Product-related process chemicals in effluent are optimized (chemicals identified as problematic are kept flowing in systems of nutrient recovery; effluents leaving facility do not contain chemicals assessed as problematic). OR
  • Demonstrated progress on the strategy developed for the Silver level requirements (required for facilities with no product relevant effluent).
platinum
  • All water leaving the manufacturing facility meets drinking water quality standards.


Program References

US EPA Surf Your Watershed
Tools for identifying the watershed, drainage basin or catchment in which relevant facilities are located, and major demands and stressors on water sources within the catchment.

US EPA list of impaired waterways
Tools for identifying impaired waterways, endangered wetlands, or water bodies seriously impacted by eutrophication

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Global Water Tool
Tools for identifying the watershed, drainage basin or catchment in which relevant facilities are located, and major demands and stressors on water sources within the catchment. Also, tools for conducting a facility level water audit.

UN Aquastat
Tools for identifying the watershed, drainage basin or catchment in which relevant facilities are located, and major demands and stressors on water sources within the catchment.

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation
Tools for identifying the watershed, drainage basin or catchment in which relevant facilities are located, and major demands and stressors on water sources within the catchment.

Social Hotspots Database
Tools for identifying regions with water scarcity and access issues.

World Resources Institute - interactive global map of eutrophication and hypoxia
Tools for identifying impaired waterways, endangered wetlands, or water bodies seriously impacted by eutrophication

RAMSAR Listed wetlands
Tools for identifying impaired waterways, endangered wetlands, or water bodies seriously impacted by eutrophication

Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI)
Tools for conducting a facility-wide water audit at the Silver level.

Carbon Disclosure Project – Water
Tools for conducting a facility-wide water audit at the Silver level.

Global Reporting Initiative – Water Indicators
Tools for conducting a facility-wide water audit at the Silver level.

World Health Organization
Benchmark standard for drinking water quality (use local drinking water standard if more rigorous than WHO)