Environmental management — Requirements with guidance for verification and validation of water statements

This document specifies principles, requirements and guidelines for the verification and validation of water statements. It is applicable to organizational, product and project water statement verification and validation, and can also be used to provide confidence in reported water information on a local, regional or national level. This document is programme neutral. If a programme is applicable, requirements of that programme are additional to the requirements of this document. NOTE Legislation can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is the user’s responsibility to determine how applicable legal requirements relate to this document.

Management environnemental — Exigences et recommandations pour la vérification et la validation des déclarations relatives à l’eau

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
26-Jun-2022
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Due Date
13-Jun-2022
Completion Date
27-Jun-2022
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 14017
First edition
2022-06
Environmental management —
Requirements with guidance for
verification and validation of water
statements
Management environnemental — Exigences et recommandations
pour la vérification et la validation des déclarations relatives à l’eau
Reference number
ISO 14017:2022(E)
© ISO 2022
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ISO 14017:2022(E)
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© ISO 2022

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© ISO 2022 – All rights reserved
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ISO 14017:2022(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions .................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3.1 Terms related to water information .................................................................................................................................... 1

3.2 Terms related to entities involved in water information verification and validation ............ 2

3.3 Terms related to the water statement ............................................................................................................................... 3

3.4 Terms related to verification and validation ............................................................................................................... 4

4 Principles ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

4.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

4.2 Impartiality ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

4.3 Evidence-based approach ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

4.4 Fair presentation .................................................................................................................................................................................. 9

4.5 Documentation ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

4.6 Conservativeness.................................................................................................................................................................................. 9

5 Requirements applicable to verification/validation .................................................................................................10

5.1 Pre-engagement activities ........................................................................................................................................................ 10

5.1.1 General ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 10

5.1.2 Type of engagement ...................................................................................................................................................... 10

5.1.3 Level of assurance in the case of verification ........................................................................................ 10

5.1.4 Objectives .............................................................................................................................................................................. 11

5.1.5 Criteria ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

5.1.6 Scope .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

5.1.7 Materiality thresholds ................................................................................................................................................ 11

5.1.8 Language ................................................................................................................................................................................ 12

5.2 Verification/validation team selection ..........................................................................................................................12

5.3 Verification/validation activities and techniques ...............................................................................................12

5.4 Specific requirements ...................................................................................................................................................................12

5.4.1 Verifier/validator communication ................................... ................................................................................12

5.4.2 Sufficiency of evidence ...............................................................................................................................................13

5.4.3 Intentional misstatement ........................................................................................................................................ 13

5.4.4 Documented information ........................................................................................................................................ 13

5.4.5 Process for completing a verification/validation ..............................................................................13

6 Verification .............................................................................................................................................................................................................14

6.1 Planning ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14

6.1.1 Strategic analysis ............................................................................................................................................................ 14

6.1.2 Risk assessment ............................................................................................................................................................... 15

6.1.3 Evidence-gathering activities .............................................................................................................................. 17

6.1.4 Site visits ................................................................................................................................................................................ 18

6.1.5 Verification plan ................................... ........................................................................................................ ....................20

6.1.6 Evidence-gathering plan .......................................................................................................................................... 20

6.1.7 Approval of verification and evidence-gathering plans ...............................................................20

6.2 Execution .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 21

6.3 Completion .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 21

6.3.1 Evaluation of the water statement .................................................................................................................. 21

6.3.2 Conclusion and draft opinion ............................................................................................................................... 21

6.3.3 Verification report ......................................................................................................................................................... 22

7 Validation ...................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................23

7.1 Planning ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 23

7.1.1 Strategic analysis ............................................................................................................................................................ 23

7.1.2 Materiality thresholds ................................................................................................................................................ 24

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ISO 14017:2022(E)

7.1.3 Estimate testing ............................................................................................................................................................... 24

7.1.4 Assessment ........................................................................................................................................................................... 24

7.1.5 Validation plan .................................................................................................................................................................. 27

7.1.6 Evidence-gathering plan .......................................................................................................................................... 27

7.1.7 Approval of validation and evidence-gathering plans ................................................................... 27

7.1.8 Amendments to validation and evidence-gathering plans ........................................................28

7.2 Execution ..................................................................................................................................................................................................28

7.2.1 General .....................................................................................................................................................................................28

7.2.2 Evaluation of the water statement ..................................................................................................................28

7.2.3 Proper disclosure ................................... .........................................................................................................................28

7.3 Completion ..............................................................................................................................................................................................28

7.3.1 General .....................................................................................................................................................................................28

7.3.2 Opinion ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 29

7.3.3 Validation report .............................................................................................................................................................30

8 Independent review ........................................................................................................................................... ............................................30

9 Issuance of opinion and report ..........................................................................................................................................................31

9.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 31

9.2 Types of opinions ............................................................................................................................................................................... 31

9.3 Contents of opinion .......................................................................................................................................................................... 32

9.4 Issuance of the report ................................................................................................................................................................... 32

10 Facts discovered after the verification/validation ......................................................................................................33

Annex A (normative) Limited level of assurance verifications ............................................................................................34

Annex B (informative) Considerations for verification ................................................................................................................38

Annex C (normative) Agreed-upon procedures (AUP) ..................................................................................................................41

Annex D (normative) Mixed engagement ....................................................................................................................................................47

Annex E (normative) Competency .......................................................................................................................................................................48

Annex F (informative) Methods to evaluate the competence of verification and validation

team members .....................................................................................................................................................................................................52

Annex G (informative) Relationship between verification and validation competence

requirements and skills and abilities needed by verification and validation teams ..............53

Annex H (informative) Example of prerequisite entry level awareness for individuals

starting training as team members in a verification/validation team ..................................................60

Annex I (informative) Personal behaviour ................................................................................................................................................61

Annex J (informative) Verification/validation process ................................................................................................................62

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................64

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ISO 14017:2022(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to

the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see

www.iso.org/iso/foreword.html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management,

Subcommittee SC 2, Environmental auditing and related environmental investigations.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www.iso.org/members.html.
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ISO 14017:2022(E)
Introduction
0.1 Background

Water is vital for supporting life on Earth. It is important for continued health and wellbeing as well as

for a sustainable economy and environment.

Water is a growing global concern. Demand for water continues to rise exponentially because of

increasing population, industrial development, energy demands and agriculture. Water supplies are

becoming more erratic and uncertain, and degrading water quality can add to this uncertainty. The

current rate of water use is unsustainable.

Water is necessary for all ecosystems. In water-stressed countries/regions, during droughts and in

areas where water resources are scarce, it is extremely important to ensure access to water supplies.

As a result, water stewardship is necessary to sustain the natural water cycle, which is interlinked with

the Earth’s climate and ecosystems.

Organizations are beginning to evaluate water risk and potential impacts on operations. Financial

institutions and investment firms are evaluating climate-change-related business risks and are

factoring water risks into investment and credit ratings and in evaluation of green investments.

The importance of water issues is recognized by the United Nations (UN) and reflected in several of

the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Water management policies are important for achieving

global poverty alleviation goals, facilitating climate change adaptation, and expanding international

cooperation and capacity-building support in developing countries, and will require implementation

of integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation.

Water management policies are important to ensure a sufficient and constant supply of water under

increasing scarcity.

Water initiatives related to measuring and evaluation of risks rely on reliable and credible science-

based information. This growing need to evaluate and manage water risks requires confidence in water

information, and is resulting in a need for verification and validation of water statements.

0.2 Approach of this document

This document provides the requirements and guidance for verification and validation activity, whether

used in combination or independently, that can enable a verifier or validator to issue an opinion on a

water statement (or agreed-upon procedures findings) that are attributed to any organization, project

or normalized unit (e.g. product). Water information that is subject to verification is historical in nature,

while validation relates to the outcome of future events. User(s) of this document are responsible for

determining how to apply the requirements of this document in relation to the context and type of the

applicable water programme.

This document can be used by first-, second- and third-party water information verifiers and validators,

which may be an individual or a body. It is regime neutral, meaning that it can be used for verifying

and validating water information statements regardless of the criteria used to develop those water

statements. Criteria may be based on, for example, governmental agreements, regulatory requirements,

voluntary programme requirements or other compliance obligations.

This document provides requirements and guidance for performing verification and validation of water

statements. It is intended to be useful to a broad range of users, including:
— first-, second- and third-party water information verifiers and validators;

— organizations and individuals involved in developing and commissioning water projects;

— organizations conducting internal verification and validation of their water statements;

— organizations involved in water information verifier or validator training;
— voluntary and mandatory water programme administrators;
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ISO 14017:2022(E)
— investor, finance and insurance communities;
— regulatory agencies;
— organizations involved in accreditation and conformity assessment.

Applications of this document can include but are not limited to verification and validation of:

— water projects in response to climate adaptation and mitigation measures;

— water projects implemented to meet organizational requirements for water conservation, water

quality improvement, or improvements in water use efficiency;

— water projects that enhance or restore water flows to benefit critically dewatered sections of rivers,

streams and wetlands and to replenish depleted groundwater supplies;
— municipal and corporate water use information;
— water footprint information based on ISO 14046;
— water information normalized by a relevant unit;
— supply chain water information;
— sustainability report water information;
— water information to support water quality credit trading schemes;
— water information as part of local/municipal, regional or national reporting.

The requirements of this document describe a process for providing assurance to intended users that

an organization’s or project’s water statements are complete, accurate, consistent, transparent and

without material discrepancies.
This document:

— describes the process and specific requirements necessary for providing confidence in the outcome

of verification and validation of water information but includes considerable guidance and flexibility;

— addresses/considers accounting principles which are necessary for providing rigor and confidence

in validation and verification results;

— addresses issues relating to materiality or level of assurance, where applicable;

— discusses the use of risk assessment in designing and carrying out verification and validation

investigations (which is critical in designing sampling methods and plans, and in evaluating results

of investigations).
The document provides specific requirements and guidance for:

— identification of purpose and intent of the engagement (e.g. verification, validation, other);

— identification and agreement on level of assurance, verification/validation criteria, materiality,

scope and boundaries;

— strategic analysis to determine timing and required resources for conducting the verification or

validation;

— conducting a risk assessment to facilitate development of a verification/validation plan;

— evidence gathering plan, and appropriate sampling methodologies consistent with the type of

engagement, criteria for the engagement and the level of assurance required;
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ISO 14017:2022(E)

— conducting the verification/validation, including assessing water information and information

systems and controls and related support;

— preparing water information verification and validation opinions and reporting results;

— water information verifier/validator competency requirements.
In this document, the following verbal forms are used:
— “shall” indicates a requirement;
— “should” indicates a recommendation;
— “may” indicates a permission;
— “can” indicates a possibility or a capability.
viii
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 14017:2022(E)
Environmental management — Requirements with
guidance for verification and validation of water
statements
1 Scope

This document specifies principles, requirements and guidelines for the verification and validation of

water statements.

It is applicable to organizational, product and project water statement verification and validation, and

can also be used to provide confidence in reported water information on a local, regional or national

level.

This document is programme neutral. If a programme is applicable, requirements of that programme

are additional to the requirements of this document.

NOTE Legislation can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is the user’s responsibility to determine how

applicable legal requirements relate to this document.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminology databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at https:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1 Terms related to water information
3.1.1
water information

information supporting a water statement (3.3.3) and pertaining to water characteristics important to

the intended user(s) (3.2.3) such as accessibility to water resources, water use, water withdrawal (3.1.5),

water degradation, water quality, water availability and water scarcity
3.1.2
water information system

policies, processes and procedures to establish, manage, maintain and record water information (3.1.1)

Note 1 to entry: A water information system can include measurements, spreadsheets, samples, calibration

instructions, etc.

[SOURCE: ISO 14064-3:2019, 3.5.1, modified — “water” has replaced “greenhouse gas” and “GHG”.]

3.1.3
water project

activity or activities that alter the conditions of a baseline (3.3.1) and which cause changes to water

characteristics
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ISO 14017:2022(E)
3.1.4
water report

report containing water information (3.1.1) that has been developed to meet the requirements (3.4.16) of

water programme (3.2.5) or agreed-upon procedure (3.4.10)
3.1.5
water withdrawal

anthropogenic removal of water from any water body (3.1.7) or from any drainage basin (3.1.6), either

permanently or temporarily

Note 1 to entry: The term “water abstraction” is sometimes used for this concept.

Note 2 to entry: Water withdrawal typically describes the total amount of water withdrawn from a surface water

or groundwater source. Measurements of this withdrawn water can help evaluate demands from domestic,

industrial and agricultural users.
[SOURCE: ISO 14046:2014, 3.2.2, modified — Note 2 to entry has been added.]
3.1.6
drainage basin

area from which direct surface runoff from precipitation drains by gravity into a stream or other water

body (3.1.7)

Note 1 to entry: The terms “watershed”, “drainage area”, “catchment”, “catchment area” or “river basin” are

sometimes used for the concept of “drainage
...

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