The Hydropower Sustainability Tools

Guidelines and assessment tools used by leading developers and operators to design and develop sustainable hydropower projects.

Good practice


The Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice define expected sustainability performance for the hydropower sector across environmental, social, technical and governance performance criteria.

The 26 guidelines present definitions of the processes and outcomes relating to good practice in planning, operation and implementation. The guidelines are a key reference for meeting the expectations of lenders, regulators and communities.
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The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is a tool for assessing the environmental, social, governance and technical performance of a hydropower project against internationally recognised good and best practices.

Assessments use objective evidence to create a sustainability profile, which can be used to drive continuous improvement. These assessments are delivered by fully accredited assessors.
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Environmental, social and governance

Gap analysis

The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) enables hydropower project proponents and investors to identify and address gaps against international good practice.

The gap analysis tool is based on the framework of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and provides an action plan to help address any identified gaps against good practice.
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IHA publications

How-to guides

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) publishes how-to guides to assist hydropower professionals to achieve good practice in line with the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.
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A new Standard

The Hydropower Sustainability Standard, a new certification and labelling scheme for hydropower was launched at the World Hydropower Congress on 8 September 2021.

The Standard applies a rating, or label, to projects of any size or stage of development, certifying them as sustainable hydropower.
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The tools are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives from energy companies, government agencies, financial institutions and social and environmental NGOs.

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