‍Global hydropower certification scheme open for public comment

Detailed proposals for a ground-breaking labelling scheme for the hydropower sector are now open for public comment.

Under the forthcoming Hydropower Sustainability Standard, hydropower projects around the world will be independently rated and certified for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

The initiative by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, an independent governing body of representatives of industry, governments, civil society and financial institutions, has now released drafts of the proposed scheme as part of a second public consultation.

The Hydropower Sustainability Standard is due to be launched at the 2021 World Hydropower Congress in September.  

The development of the certification scheme is supported by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), which represents leading hydropower companies. The association’s members collectively manage around a third (450 GW) of installed hydropower capacity.

Anyone interested in the future and sustainability performance of the hydropower sector is invited to provide feedback on two documents:  

  • Draft Hydropower Sustainability Standard, which presents the certification scheme, performance requirements, a scoring methodology and certification levels. Download the draft document.
  • Draft Hydropower Sustainability Assurance System, the supporting document which defines the process of certification, including obtaining certification, assessor accreditation, claims, renewals, appeals and other governance processes.  Download the draft document.

Feedback welcome

Comments are welcomed by 2 August 2021. Respondents are encouraged to review both documents and provide feedback via an online response form. Please note that the performance requirements are not under consultation as they are based on the established Hydropower Sustainability Tools. For additional information, please visit the Hydropower Sustainability Standard webpage.  

Following the consultation, the Hydropower Sustainability (HS) Standard and Assurance System will be reviewed and amended where necessary.  

The draft documents were developed in response to a first public consultation which ran from November 2020 to February 2021. The comments were shared with the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council’s governance committee and a working group on the Standard. These A summary of comments received from the first consultation and how they were addressed is available on Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council website.

The certification scheme is due to be launched at the World Hydropower Congress on 8 September 2021. Registration is available free of charge to the World Hydropower Congress and interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Standard launch as well as a dedicated session on how certification works.

If you have any questions about the Standard or consultation process, please contact the Hydropower Sustainability Secretariat at

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