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Water Management

Innovative Financing for Water Projects: Water Benefit Certificates (WBCs)

Thursday, May 24th, 2012, 8:00am-9:00am (San Francisco) / 11:00-12:00pm (New York) / 5:00-6:00pm (Paris/Frankfurt)

The World Health Organization estimates that 2.6 billion people currently suffer from a lack of improved sanitation facilities, and that approximately 3% of all deaths worldwide are caused by unsafe or inadequate water sanitation and hygiene. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water stress by 2025 and almost two-thirds of the world’s population will be living under water-stressed conditions. Climate change, economic growth, urbanization and a growing population exacerbate this global water crisis.

New collaborations, technologies and business models are needed in order to achieve sustainable solutions to this global challenge. First Climate, a pioneer and leader in the carbon markets, envisioned and conceived an innovative solution to fund water projects globally: the Water Benefit Certificate (WBC) mechanism. This mechanism aims at providing incentives for financing water projects through the certification and sale of their water benefits in the form of Water Benefit Certificates (WBCs). A WBC certifies that a certain volume of water has been saved, purified or supplied by a specific project during a certain period of time.
In order to turn the WBC concept into a workable, broadly accepted public standard, First Climate initiated a multi-stakeholder process: a public-private partnership (PPP) called Water Benefit Partners (WBP). The main objectives of WBP are:
  • Develop the WBC mechanism, including the WBC concept, standard, a first methodology (based on drip-irrigation), an electronic registry to handle WBCs and the administrative body of the WBC standard
  • Develop and implement a WBC pilot project in India (including validation and verification of the project’s WBCs)
  • Promote the WBC mechanism and its integration into corporate CSR strategies
Managed by First Climate and co-sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for a period of 2 years, WBP brings together corporate CSR representatives, technical experts and NGOs to achieve a broad consensus among all relevant stakeholders:
  • Project Manager: First Climate
  • Sponsor: SDC, First Climate
  • Sounding Board: SDC, WWF, Gold Standard Foundation, Global Water Challenge
  • Technical Partners: SGS (Verifier), Markit (Registry Provider), LimnoTech (Scientific Advisor), International Development Enterprises - India (WBC Pilot Project Implementer)
  • Corporate Partners: Nestlé, Bayer, Grundfos, MunichRe, Borealis
Through the WBP, the partners – private companies, NGOs and a governmental agency – bring together a unique set of skills and invest time and resources in a venture that has never been carried out before. The outcome will be a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind innovation which has the potential to make a significant contribution in the fight against the global water crisis!
Attend our webinar to learn more about the WBC mechanism and how your next CSR strategy could benefit from it.



  •  First Climate, Stefan Erlich, Business Development Manager



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