SDG 6 strives to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation for all, recognizing their fundamental importance for human rights and sustainable development. Its targets include universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, integrated water resource management in agriculture, protection of water-related ecosystems, and access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
Donau Soja Organisation
Donau Soja is aware that water use is becoming more and more relevant, having in mind increasingly prolonged dry periods during the summer months caused by climate change. Therefore, efficient use of water is an integral part of Donau Soja / Europe Soya Standards. Donau Soja assessed the water footprint of Donau Soja / Europe Soya certified soya beans and soya products in comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA). The studies showed that irrigation currently is mainly relevant for seed production.
Donau Soja / Europe Soya Standard
Donau Soja contributes to SDG 6 through the principles 5, 6, 8 and 10. According to principles 5 and 6 good agricultural practices are required. This includes improving water quality for example by reducing pollution; minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials; or preventing the release of untreated wastewater. The standard allows only substances approved in the EU and bans specifically hazardous substances (e.g. those classified under WHO1a and 1b). Additionally, there is a ban on aerial spraying and desiccation (i.e. drying down cultivated plants by means of a chemical agent to accelerate ripening before harvesting).
To increase water-use efficiency and ensure sustainable withdrawals, the farmer shall hold a valid water extraction license and ensure that any use of water, other than rainwater, has been approved by the relevant authorities. The farmer shall also ensure that their practices (e.g. water extraction) do not impact sensitive wetlands or swamps in the vicinity of their operation.
Principle 8 requires protection of water-related ecosystems, including a ban of conversion of peat land and wetlands. As well as establishing buffer strips to prevent pollution along water courses and contamination of ground or surface water.
Principle 10 requires that all workers shall have access to clean and safe drinking water, adequate sanitary facilities, and protective equipment.