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RBA and AWS Partner to Address Water Risks in Supply Chains

Responsible Business Alliance and Alliance for Water Stewardship Sign Memorandum of Understanding

ALEXANDRIA, USA and NORTH BERWICK, Scotland, March 22, 2022 – The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) today announced their partnership to increase awareness of water risks in supply chains and help companies address those risks through improved water stewardship.

Water stewardship is generally defined as the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site- and catchment-based actions. On this World Water Day 2022, the RBA and AWS reaffirm their commitment to a shared vision of a water-secure world that enables people, cultures, businesses and nature to prosper, now and in the future.

The RBA and AWS have previously worked together on other projects, including an ICT Water Stewardship Working Group and a report on Water Risk in the ICT Sector. A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the RBA and AWS was signed in February 2022 to define the next phases of their work. The agreement recognizes the need for greater awareness of water stewardship and support to global brands and their supply chains for related resilience. The MOU outlines the RBA’s and AWS’ roles in sharing knowledge, developing tools and joint working groups that enable supply chain actors to engage in water stewardship. The agreement further highlights the need for water to be recognized as a key aspect in any sustainability strategy. Stakeholder engagement will also continue to be an important element of the partnership.

“We believe this partnership will help companies better understand water-related risks within their supply chains and the actions they can take to mitigate those risks,” said Rob Lederer, Chief Executive Officer of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). “Collaborative partnerships with organizations such as AWS and the ICT Water Stewardship Working Group provide opportunities to leverage one another’s expertise to more effectively address these challenges.”   

Adrian Sym, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), said: “Water stewardship is an approach that enables organisations to develop a deeper understanding of their unique water-related impacts and dependencies in their operations. Many brands within the electronics sector share the same suppliers and so there is a real opportunity for collaboration to tackle shared water challenges.”

About the Responsible Business Alliance
The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. The RBA has a Code of Conduct and a range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The organization has a global footprint, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The RBA and its Responsible Minerals, Labor and Factory Initiatives have nearly 500 members with combined annual revenues of greater than $7.7 trillion, directly employing over 21.5 million people, with products manufactured in more than 120 countries. For more information, visit and follow @RBAllianceOrg.

About the Alliance for Water Stewardship
Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) ignites and nurtures global and local leadership in credible water stewardship that recognizes and secures the social, cultural, environmental and economic value of freshwater. AWS is a global network dedicated to advancing and deepening the impact of credible water stewardship. Through our collaborative work we inspire water users and managers to be responsible stewards of our freshwater resources.

Media Contacts
Jarrett Bens, Senior Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721

Brenda McIlwraith, Communications Lead
Alliance for Water Stewardship


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