Water Benefit Certificates
What is a Water Benefit Certificate?
Water has been repeatedly named by the World Economic Forum as the single biggest risk the world faces. These threats are only exacerbated by increasing temperatures and changing weather patterns. Water Benefit Certificates represent quantified and certified impacts to securing access to water – the most fundamental human need.
A Water Benefit Certificate (WBC) represents a volume of water that has been sustainably supplied, purified or conserved.
A Water Benefit Certificate represents different volumes for different project types, due to the wide range of volumes between small but high-impact community projects like Water Access Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and large projects like agricultural interventions or wastewater treatment:
- For volumes up to 40,000 cubic metres per annum (m3 p.a.), 1 m3 = 1 WBC
- For additional volumes greater than 40,000 m3 but less than 1,300,000 m3 p.a., 10 m3 are worth 1 WBC
- For additional volumes greater than 1,300,000 m3 p.a., 100 m3 are worth 1 WBC
Why finance Water Benefit Certificates?
Purchasing Water Benefit Certificates allows organisations committed to water stewardship to contribute to high-impact projects around the world that would not have otherwise happened. Each project must demonstrate a clear financial need for additional finance from selling Water Benefit Certificates to be certified. Above and beyond these water benefits, each project must also deliver impact toward two additional Sustainable Development Goals.
What can be claimed?
By purchasing Water Benefit Certificates, you can claim to have made a contribution to SDG 6, representing a direct impact on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, monitored, verified and certified by Gold Standard.
For WASH projects, you can also claim to have contributed to:
Target 6.1. Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
Target 6.2. Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
For wastewater treatment projects, you can also claim to have contributed to:
- Target 6.3. Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated waste water and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
For Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative projects, you can also claim to have contributed to:
- Target 6.4. Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
In your communications, you may also describe the contributions to other Sustainable Development Goals that the project you supported has delivered.
SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
About Gold Standard for the Global Goals
Gold Standard for the Global Goals is a next-generation standard designed to accelerate progress toward climate security and sustainable development. This standard enables initiatives to quantify, certify and maximise their impacts toward the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, with enhanced safeguards, holistic project design, management of trade-offs and local stakeholder engagement to ensure the highest levels of environmental and social integrity.
What defines Gold Standard projects?
Stakeholder inclusion. All projects are developed in line with best practice, following a process that is inclusive of affected stakeholders and ensuring their objectives and concerns are represented.
Safeguard management. All projects are developed in line with best practice, following rigorous safeguards to prevent unintended consequences and manage trade-offs where needed.
Multiple contributions to Global Goals. All projects contribute holistically to at least three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All impacts are tracked according to robust monitoring plans, verified by an approved independent third party, and certified by Gold Standard. All projects may claim to be “gender sensitive.” Relevant projects may also claim to be “water sensitive."
Transparency. Any and all Certified SDG Impacts or financial products issued from Gold Standard project activities are disclosed in a transparent, third-party registry.
Civil society support. The process followed is endorsed by Gold Standard’s network of NGO supporters who can access and provide input to project reviews.