Sustainability Guidelines

Understand definitions of sustainability performance for the hydropower sector


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

The 26 guidelines present definitions of the processes and outcomes relating to good practice in the planning, operation and implementation of hydropower projects. As a compendium, the guidelines are a reference document for meeting the expectations of lenders, regulators, and consumers.

The guidelines are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, whose 100 members include social and environmental NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, development banks, governments, and hydropower companies and contractors.

Developed for a range of stages in the lifecycle of a hydropower project, compliance with each guideline can be specified in commercial contracts between financiers and developers, and developers and contractors.

Aligned with standards developed by the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the Equator Principles group of banks, the guidelines are hydropower-specific and designed to support assessments of project performance using the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and ESG Gap Analysis Tool.

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