ISO 46001 (Water Efficiency)

Taking water efficiency management systems to the next level

ISO 46001 is a certification standard for water efficieny management systems (WEMS), aiming to contribute to the efficient and sustainable use of water. The standard states requirements and gives a flexible guidance on how to introduce and sustain a water efficiency management system in companies.

Target Group

Any company and organisation can implement the standard. Especially water-intensive commerce and industry will benefit from the implementation of a WEMS in accordance with ISO 46001.

Structure & Content

The standard follows the basic PDCA-model:

Plan: The WEMS matches with the companies’ context, top-management and employees are involved, there is an analysis of the WEMS strategy, risks and opportunities are identified.

Do: Planned WEMS processes are implemented in accordance with ISO 46001.

Check: Data, measurements and analysis are supervised and evaluated. These processes are controlled by internal audits.

Act: Procedures and measurements are continuously adapted and improved. Data analysis detects possible savings, improvement measures are continuously implemented in the WEMS.

Benefits Of The Standard

The implementation of ISO 46001 leads to the following competitive advantages:

  • Cost savings due to efficient water management
  • Improvement of the water balance
  • Improvement of the company’s image
  • More reliable data for sustainability reporting

Iso 46001 Certification Process – How It Works

As soon as you are ready, we schedule the audit according to your availability. The duration of the audit depends on the size of your organization. Our qualified auditors confirm the implementation of ISO 46001 through an on-site assessment. The detailed audit report outlines their key findings and makes recommendations for improvement, if applicable. After passing the audit, the organization receives the ISO 46001 certificate. To maintain the certification annual follow-up audits take place.

Certifications Process

The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.

DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.

A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.

The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.

The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.

The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.

Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.

A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.

Why DQS?

DQS is one of the leading Management System Certification, Audits, Assessment & Training organization globally. 


Truly Global Brand


Expert Auditors with High Emotional Intelligence


Local Capabilities & Delivery


Industry Leaders


Customized, Comprehensive & Actionable Insights


Pioneering Innovative Solutions


Passion for Quality & Excellence


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