Water And Sustainability: European Water Stewardship
Water, recreational lake water or swimming pool water – for decades, SGS has been a reliable and competent partner for all aspects of water analysis. By offering EWS certification, SGS has come full circle: the European Water Stewardship (EWS) standard is a programme reaching across all industries that companies can use to enhance their water management more sustainably and cost-efficiently.
Less water consumption and fewer pollutants are the principal objectives of EWS: a standard aimed particularly at addressing water-sensitive sectors, such as beverage manufacturers and the paper industry. Companies in other sectors, however, can also benefit because conserving resources is a generational issue, and compliance and implementation are becoming increasingly important.
Based on the EU Water Framework Directive, the EWS standard of 2011 was initiated by politicians, corporations and NGOs under the direction of the independent European Water Partnership (EWP) organisation. Four basic principles are embedded in the operational management:
- sustainable water abstraction;
- ensuring a good water status;
- preserving high conservation value areas; and
- equitable and transparent water governance.
The EWS standard is not a rigid system of key ratios; instead, companies define individual targets for their own water management. These targets are inspected annually by independent certification companies, such as SGS, for their compliance with the standard. As part of the verification process, the entire water cycle – from water abstraction to discharge into flowing waters or canalisation– are carefully scrutinised. After passing the audit and receiving a positive certification decision, a certificate is awarded and is valid for three years.
The EWS standard creates a solid basis for a long-term and sustainable improvement process that every company can benefit from, not only in terms of conserving resources but also economically.
SGS Germany GmbH
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