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Water Certifications for Sustainability Leaders.

Tomorrow, Thursday 04/27/2023, the webinar "Make Sustainability Your Competitive Advantage: Discover the Benefits of Environmental Certifications" will be held, convened by Banco Atlántida in El Salvador, and featuring the participation of companies from various productive sectors in the region.

Water Co. will participate to share its experience in water certifications and assessments, conducted for numerous forward-thinking companies and corporations seeking differentiation in the market.

Certifications and assessments of a company's water management practices are highly relevant for sustainability leaders, as they allow for the showcasing of actions taken to protect the environment and water sources, and the accreditation of key performance indicators focused on optimal water usage in production lines.

These are key tools that can help open up new international markets for various goods and services produced in Central America. The international community is seeking to do business with companies committed to sustainable development, who implement measures to adapt to climate change, and address the challenges of water scarcity and pollution.

As we know, competitiveness in certain international markets can hinge on having the necessary certifications to close deals. Therefore, water certifications and assessments are keys to opening and maintaining business lines. Without them, one risks being left behind.

Environmental certifications and their associated water chapters evaluate and accredit that companies (their products, services, processes, and production plants) meet specific certification standards or regulatory requirements.

ISO 14001 is widely used worldwide and focuses on reducing the environmental impacts of a company's activities. For water management, it requires the establishment of goals, objectives, and action plans to improve business performance in water management and pollution prevention.

For the agro-industrial sector, relevant certifications include Global GAP, Rainforest Alliance, B Corp, and RSPO. These often require measures to promote sustainable water usage, reduce pollution and/or consumption, and conserve water sources.

LEED applies to buildings and construction projects, certifying practices and technologies that promote water efficiency (potabilization, wastewater treatment, reuse of treated water, rainwater harvesting).

OEKO-TEX for the textile sector requires a focus on the quality of incoming and outgoing water, wastewater treatment, and reducing water consumption.

FSSC 22000 requires certified companies to implement monitoring programs to verify the quality and safety of water used in the production, processing, and consumption of food and beverages.

There are also assessments, standards, and compliance reports specifically focused on water management. The main ones are the Water Footprint Network (WFN) and the Water Footprint (ISO 14046), which we have applied to analyze water usage and develop water KPIs associated with the productivity of numerous companies.

In addition to each country's environmental and water regulations, there are reference standards. These include the World Bank's IFC water standard, AWS, the standards established by the FDA and the US FSMA law to ensure product safety across various industries. There are also HACCP and the Codex Alimentarius focused on food safety, which I will cover in another column.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and other countries in the region are at the forefront of exporting multiple products that require water certifications. At Water Co., we can provide these solutions, as well as build and install technologies that guarantee water quality and promote sustainable water usage. Please feel free to reach out to me directly.

This article was originally published as an opinion column in La Hora GT; please see this link:

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