Selecting Tools

This project includes 18 different standards, tools and guidelines that can support companies in implementing better water policies and practices. The tools were selected based on four criteria. They needed to be 1) internationally renowned and 2) used, 3) have a strong water component and 4) be applicable to several product groups. Product-specific tools were therefore left out of this mapping. The reason for this is that the group wanted to identify tools that can be used by the food industry as a whole, thereby promoting a harmonized approach to water management. This facilitates cooperation between businesses and simplifies the process for suppliers who often struggle with living up to customers’ different standards and requests.


The tools were assessed against a number of criteria. How well they includes relevant water aspects was an essential part of the analysis, but also aspects such as user-friendliness, dissemination, cost and implementation potential were considered. Several water aspects were assessed, including water reuse and recycling, soil management, use of water pollutants and access to water and sanitation. To reflect how water is intrinsically linked to energy production and climate change, energy efficiency, food waste and climate change adaptation were also captured in the analysis. A full list of all water assessment criteria is found as:

– Overexploited water source
– Contaminated water source
– Soil management
– Biodiversity impacts
– Pesticide and fertilizer use
– Irrigation method
– Food waste
– Water run-off

– Energy waste
– Water for cleaning
– Access to water and sanitation
– Wastewater & solid waste
– Water reuse and recycling (water for cooling and heating)
– Reduction of GHG emissions
– Climate change adaptation