Civil Society Case Study: Alliance for Water Stewardship

"The OAR’s database of facilities and the diverse range of stakeholders that contribute to it, has provided AWS a global snapshot of textiles manufacturing allowing them to very quickly identify where to focus engagement efforts."

AWS identifies global supply chain hotspots and affiliated stakeholders

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is a global multi-stakeholder membership alliance seeking to ignite worldwide and local leadership in credible water stewardship, and the textiles and apparel industry is one of their priority sectors. Water stewardship presents an opportunity to ensure that the textiles and apparel sector is fully aware of its water-related impacts and takes advantage of the benefits created through collaboration in shared sourcing locations around the world. The AWS aims to work with brands, suppliers, other standards and sector stakeholders to create a pathway from management to stewardship, that recognizes the value created by water stewardship and embeds it within existing approaches.

As part of their work in the sector, AWS oversees the International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard). The AWS Standard is a tool that guides water-users to understand their water impacts and to go beyond management towards stewardship. To roll out that standard, AWS needed to identify supply chain hotspots across the globe and which stakeholders are affiliated with those hotspots, which is exactly what the OAR has provided.

The OAR’s database of facilities and the diverse range of stakeholders that contribute to it, has provided AWS a global snapshot of textiles manufacturing allowing them to very quickly identify where to focus engagement efforts. Data from the OAR has been a reliable source of third-party information for their team’s strategic discussions, and has allowed them to make more informed decisions, more quickly, and has aided them in undertaking more extensive stakeholder mapping.

These benefits are not just enjoyed by AWS. AWS runs a textile and apparel water stewardship working group, comprised of 16 international fashion companies, NGOs and consultancies working together to catalyze greater uptake of more responsible water stewardship throughout the sector. AWS has shared their research informed by OAR data with this group to allow members to further their own water stewardship activities and to plan collective actions.

AWS is a global membership collaboration comprising businesses, NGOs and the public sector. Their members contribute to the sustainability of local water resources through their adoption and promotion of a universal framework for the sustainable use of water – the International Water Stewardship Standard – that drives, recognizes and rewards good water stewardship performance.