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February 2013

Voith Hydro receives training on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

Last week we facilitated training on  the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol with Voith Hydro in Heidenheim, Germany. 

"The protocol is a tool to guide sustainability in the sector and provides a common language around which issues of sustainability can be discussed” explained Doug Smith, IHA sustainability specialist. “Training on the protocol’s breadth of sustainability topics and on how these are assessed, forms an important part of an IHA Sustainability Partnership.”

Voith Hydro, as one of the founding member of the Hydro Equipment Association (HEA), is part of a sustainability partnership with IHA together with other HEA members. 

The training, which took place from 7–8 February, was facilitated by Doug Smith and Simon Howard, also an IHA sustainability specialist. More than 25 participants from various disciplines were trained over the two day workshop to discuss sustainability in hydropower. 

Barbara Fischer–Aupperle, head of sustainability at Voith Hydro said: ‘This workshop was an excellent opportunity to bring together various stakeholders on hydro power planning and financing together and discuss the use of the protocol as a practical tool to measure and decide upon realization of sustainability in hydro power projects.’

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a comprehensive tool to assess the sustainability of hydropower projects globally. It provides a rigorous, evidence-based assessment of between 19–23 sustainability topics, depending on the development stage of the project.

It is the product of a rigorous multi-stakeholder development process involving representatives from social and environmental NGOs (Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, Transparency International, WWF); governments (China, Germany [as an observer], Iceland, Norway, Zambia); commercial and development banks (including banks that are signatory to the Equator Principles, and the World Bank [as an observer]); and the hydropower sector.

These topics it covers include downstream flow regimes, indigenous peoples, biodiversity, infrastructure, safety, resettlement, water quality, and erosion and sedimentation. 

The development process of the protocol involved field trials in 16 countries, across 6 continents, and stakeholder engagement with 1,933 individuals in 28 countries.

Implementation of the protocol in the European Union is supported through Hydro4LIFE, a European Commission funded project, under the European Commission’s Life+ Environment Policy and Governance programme. Hydro4LIFE will demonstrate the Protocol in the EU, raise awareness about the Protocol and serve to consolidate hydropower sustainability performance knowledge.

Voith Hydro works in all major hydropower countries across the world and strongly promotes the implementation of sustainable hydropower, to all partners and stakeholders in the industry.

Download the full press release (PDF)

See our photos from the training.