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At the end of 2020, water-and wastewater utilities participating in EBCs benchmarking programme received a pilot report on their performance in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The report is an initiative of a number of frontrunner utilities and the result of extensive (ongoing) discussions. The SDGs can count on a great deal of enthusiasm among the programme participants, who are very motivated to contribute to the UN's Call for Action.
Water utilities are expected to contribute to SDG 6 (providing Clean Water and Sanitation) in particular. In addition, in their daily activities water utilities also touch on and can positively contribute to other SDGs like Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action and Life below Water. At the same time utilities within the EBC network indicated that they were looking for a way to track how they contribute to sustainable development.
The utilities VA SYD (Malmö, Sweden) and Waternet (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) together with EBC started an initiative to find relevant indicators for water related SDGs back in 2019. With the support and enthusiasm of a large group of colleague utilities, a comprehensive literature review and EBC’s existing assessment methodology, EBC was able to develop a first set of relevant indicators. The indicators were then processed into a new Annex to the regular EBC Company report: The SDG pilot. Per SDG a table is shown containing a set of indicators. Per indicator a utility can view its own performance, the trend compared to last year, reference values and the SDG target number to which the indicator relates.
The Pilot now forms the base of further discussions and improvements. As of November 2020, a MSc. student, together with the EBC Team, is focussing on collecting feedback to the pilot report to further improve and complete the indicator list. EBC’s next benchmarking cycle (IB2020) will give new participants the chance the join the discussion and help to further develop the SDG annex.
Using the SDG-framework in the benchmarking programme not only helps to track sustainable development from a wide perspective, it can also count on a great deal of enthusiasm among the programme participants who are very motivated to contribute to the UN's Call for Action.
A press release is available here
Would you like to know more about the SDG work and/or our programme? Join our online Orientation session on Thursday the 18th of February (10:00 - 11:00 CET)!
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