Water benefit standard: Quality Benchmark for Sustainable Water Management

The Water Benefit Standard is an accepted certification and financing mechanism for sustainable water projects worldwide. Similar to appropriate certification standards for voluntary carbon offsetting, the Water Benefit Standard serves as a benchmark for high-quality water projects. It assesses environmental and socio-economic benefits in a credible and transparent manner. This makes the standard an essential tool for companies which want to engage in water stressed watersheds and are looking for suitable projects that they can support with their investment.

First Climate has been involved in the development and implementation of the standard since 2011 with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Gold Standard Foundation and more than 20 partners, including major international companies and organizations such as WWF, Carlsberg, Bayer, Munich Re, Nestlé, Olam and the International Red Cross.

Water Stewardship with Water Benefit Projects

The Water Benefit Standard was designed especially for companies with water stewardship goals beyond their own production facilities. Companies can use the standard to initiate projects within their own operations or supply chains and to continuously assess and certify their results as an external quality stamp. Certifiable activities include the promotion of water-efficient agricultural practices, a reduction in water consumption within the production facilities, provision of clean water to local communities, or watershed restoration activities.

Water Benefit Certificates

Alternatively, the Water Benefit Standard can also serve as a funding mechanism for independently developed projects. Registered projects can issue Water Benefit Certificates (WBCs) corresponding to the volume of the water-positive outcomes generated. Water Benefit Certificates can be sold to companies, governments, NGOs or individuals who want to engage transparently and credibly with water stewardship. Examples of projects already issuing Water Benefit certificates are AgSri’s Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative in India and Whave’s innovative WASH project in Uganda.

First Climate is pleased to advise you in how you can use the Water Benefit Standard to achieve your water goals. With our expertise, we can support you to finance existing projects as well as develop your own projects based on your needs. Contact us.


Andrew Bonneau

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