In this case study, Ecolab, a founding partner of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), pursued AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (Standard) certification at their Taicang, China facility. The AWS Standard, which was developed with input from founding partners and multiple stakeholders, provides water stewards with a six-step continual improvement framework at a site and catchment level that enables facilities to commit, understand, plan, implement, evaluate and communicate water stewardship actions to ultimately ensure communities have a resilient future.
From 2013-2015, Ecolab partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), another AWS founding partner, to pilot the framework at its manufacturing plant in Taicang, China, a water-sensitive area in the Taihu Basin of the Yangtze River delta. The pilot helped influence the final Standard and built momentum for broader adoption of the Standard both locally and globally.
In July 2015, Ecolab’s Taicang facility engaged TÜV Rheinland, a third-party AWS accredited organization, to assess compliance with the AWS Standard. In September 2015, TÜV Rheinland declared Ecolab’s manufacturing plant in Taicang as “AWS Core level compliant,” making this plant the first facility in the world to be AWS certified. The journey is far from over. The team in Taicang and at all Ecolab facilities around the world will continue to pursue water stewardship projects and facilitate discussions internally and externally to help drive collective action in the catchments and communities in which Ecolab operates.