Advancing sustainable hydropower

A neutral platform for dialogue

Developed by multi stakeholder consensus


The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is an enhanced sustainability assessment tool used to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector.

The Protocol:

     -Is a framework for assessing the sustainability of hydropower projects
     -Distils hydropower sustainability into more than 20 clearly-defined topic
     -Provides a consistent, globally-applicable methodology
     -Is governed by a multi-stakeholder Council
     -Regulated by a Charter and Terms and Conditions of use  

The Protocol is the result of intensive work from 2008 to 2010 by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum, a multi-stakeholder body with representatives from social and environmental NGOs (Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, Transparency International, WWF); governments (China, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Zambia); commercial and development banks (Equator Principles Financial Institutions Group, The World Bank); and the hydropower sector, represented by IHA.

The Protocol was officially launched in Brazil in June 2011 and is governed by a multi-stakeholder council, reflecting the broad stakeholder groups contained in the forum, and made up of a governance committee, chambers and a management entity.

The Protocol now features in a number of other policy and guidance documents, listed here.

Implementation of the Protocol is made possible by the assistance of the European Commission's Life+ programme.

Added Value

Watch a discussion about hydropower sustainability and the added value of the Protocol by Prof. Dr. Dominik Godde, Director EON Hydro Fleet Germany. Specific discussion regarding the Protocol begins at 6 minutes and 50 seconds


Presentation by IHA on the Added Value of using the Protocol:

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New guidance documents published

A growing number of international organisations have published papers analysing the merits of using the Protocol, including World Bank, IIED and OECD.

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First Early Stage Assessment, Croatia

The first Early Stage assessment used to assess options for proposed development of the Sava River in Zagreb, Croatia.

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Download Protocol Info Sheet


Find out more about IHA’s Sustainability Partners...

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