MILKWAUKEE — On Feb. 2, The Water Council, an international non-profit committed to freshwater innovation, introduced its WAVE — Water Stewardship Verified — program. The program will help companies develop strategies, set goals and take action on water stewardship.

The Water Council has been developing the WAVE program for the past two years. Prior to the creation and launch of the program, the council has helped large, global companies to small businesses diminish water risk and advance water stewardship for many years.

With the WAVE program, the council hopes to bridge a gap between companies’ plans and meaningful action.

“No longer are Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-related performance improvements and reporting optional for businesses,” said Dean Amhaus, president and chief executive officer, The Water Council. “While attention has largely been directed at carbon when tackling environmental issues, water is right around the corner. WAVE offers companies a blueprint to create a water stewardship strategy and begin the critical work of improving water-related outcomes.”

Participants of the WAVE program will be independently verified by SCS Global Services, an international verifier of environmental, social and sustainability performance. According to the council, independent verification is important to demonstrate a company’s strong commitment to water stewardship.

“With third-party verification comes confidence in the legitimacy of water stewardship achievements and environmental contributions, and that is more important than ever to stakeholders,” said Rae Mindock, manager for responsible water practices, SCS Global Services. “With WAVE and The Water Council, we look forward to helping companies work toward growth in meeting their corporate sustainability goals. The program is a solid step for any company to take in advancing their water stewardship journey.”

To ensure its success, several companies piloted the WAVE program before its launch, including A.O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Nutrien and Watts Water Technologies.

“Participating in the WAVE pilot program has allowed us to better understand water as a shared resource and given us a community-based perspective when thinking about water usage and our place in this system,” said Ken Lepage, chief sustainability officer and secretary, Watts Water Technologies. “By looking beyond our footprint, we can make a larger impact in the watershed as a whole, and our water stewardship journey has just begun.”

The WAVE program is available to organizations of all sizes and within all industries, including pet food.

Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat industry.