New suite of tools launched to enhance Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council has released a new suite of tools for assessing hydropower projects against sustainability performance criteria.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol has been updated to examine hydropower’s carbon footprint and resilience to climate change, according to a press release from the International Hydropower Association. The new tool also will enable project proponents and investors to identify and address gaps against international good practice.

The new suite of tools comprises:

  • An expanded sustainability protocol, to cover best and good practice in climate mitigation and resilience
  • A targeted gap analysis tool, called the Hydropower Sustainability Environmental, Social and Governance Gap Analysis Tool. This ESG Tool is modeled on the protocol’s evaluation framework and offers a targeted assessment across 12 core sections

“The ESG Tool will allow companies to identify good practice and address gaps through a management plan, providing vital reassurance to investors and other stakeholders,” said Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA.

“Today marks the most significant expansion in the tools available to assess hydropower performance in almost a decade, following extensive consultation within and beyond the hydropower sector,” said Roger Gill, chair of the protocol’s governance committee.

The council consists of such organizations as the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, WWF, the Inter-American Development Corporation, hydropower companies and governments.

IHA is the management body for the protocol, overseeing the training and accreditation of independent assessors.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol was launched in 2010 and was developed in response to the World Commission on Dams, which showed the need for the hydropower sector to have a global tool for reporting sustainability.

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