The training, which took place from 12-15 June, was facilitated by Douglas Smith, Simon Howard and Aida Khalil, iha Sustainability Specialists. This training paves the way for a Protocol assessment of a selected project, the next step in the IHA Sustainability Partnership process.

“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 Smith. “Training on the Protocol’s breadth of sustainability aspects and on how these are assessed forms an important part of an IHA Sustainability Partnership.”

IHA Sustainability Partners are organisations and companies which have agreed to implement the Protocol in at least one of their hydropower projects. To date ten other IHA Sustainability Partners have begun working with IHA on implementing the Protocol: edf, E.ON, GDF Suez, Itaipu Binacional, hydro-equipment-association, Hydro Tasmania, Landsvirkjun, Manitoba Hydro, Odebrecht, and Sarawak Energy.

“Statkraft is known for its expertise and high standards when it comes to environmental protection and stakeholder engagement. As a world-class company we have always liked to be among the forerunners and trendsetters.” commented Tron Engebrethsen, SVP Power Generation

“The Sustainability Partnership will allow us moreover to compare performances and spread systematically top-notch knowledge throughout the various countries in which we are active. Coming from a hydropower nation like Norway, where close to 100% of the national electricity is supplied by hydropower, it is quite natural that we are enthusiastically supporting the European Commission’s offer to foster knowledge about sustainable hydropower globally by becoming a strong partner in the Hydro 4 Life program” he continued

Statkraft develops and generates hydropower, wind power, gas power, and district heating. The company manages 13,155MW of hydropower assets and is owned by the Norwegian government. Statkraft employs more than 3,400 people in over 20 countries.

A number of SN Power employees also participated in the training. SN Power is a joint venture between Statkraft and Norfund. It’s a hydropower development company, operating exclusively in emerging markets. The company is active in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a comprehensive tool to assess the sustainability of hydropower projects globally, provides a rigorous, evidence-based assessment of between 19-23 relevant sustainability topics, depending on the development stage of the project. These topics include issues such as downstream flow regimes, indigenous peoples, biodiversity, infrastructure safety, resettlement, water quality, and erosion and sedimentation.

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, represented by IHA.

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.