EBC Foundation started its activities in 2005, with an initial focus on North-Western Europe. At that time, Dutch and Nordic water utility associations and water utilities from the 6-Cities Group took the initiative to develop a cross-border benchmarking programme, on top of existing national efforts, from the perspective that the larger the network, the more one can learn from each other.
After two pilot exercises, EBC started organising annual benchmarking exercises for drinking water- and wastewater utilities from across Western Europe.
The Western European programme is a voluntary, self-financed programme; utilities sign up and pay a (cost covering) participation fee.
Annually, the programme attracts 40 to 50 participants, who represent some 15% of the EU-population. Since 2007, more than 140 different water utilities from 34 Western European countries and beyond have participated in one or more editions of the cross-border benchmarking programme.
Some characteristic data from last year (IB2016):
Primary goal of the Western European benchmarking programme is to assist drinking water- and wastewater utilities in improving water services by benchmarking and learning from each other.
Secondary goal is to support utilities in raising transparency of the services, by providing reliable, standardised performance information to utility management and by enabling data exchange with relevant third parties (such as the World Bank’s IBNet – a global database for water- and sanitation services).
Who can join?
EBC and its partners encourage European drinking water- and wastewater utilities who are interested in improving their performance, to join this leading-edge project.
Utilities from outside Europe are also welcome to join. In their case, performance comparisons should be interpreted extra carefully because of differences in operating environment, but joining the Western European peer utility group can be worthwhile as most added value of benchmarking is in the learning from leading/best practices available in the utility network.
Annually, utilities can sign up for an exercise which runs from May to December.
Click here for more information about participation in the programme.