Hydroelectric Power Sustainability Guidelines

The HGIIP or Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice outlines the performance expectations on hydropower projects. It comprises 26 guidelines that cover governance, social, and environmental topics. These guidelines define the processes and results connected to standards in project preparation, function, and implementation.

As a compilation, the guidelines serve as a reference record to meet expectations. Compliance with these guidelines is specified in contracts between developers and financiers and contractors and developers.


The HGIIP forms the standards and defines and measures sustainability practice in the hydroelectric power sector. The guidelines provide comprehensive descriptions of international practices for hydropower sustainability and are made to be utilized in different settings.

These have been outlined to define processes and results representing good international practices related to planning, operating, and implementing hydropower projects.


The sustainability guidelines offer definitions of standard practice following six criteria: outcomes, compliance, stakeholder support, stakeholder engagement, management, and project assessment.

The guidelines explain expectations on criteria statements in the following assessment tools: HSAP (Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol) and HESG (Hydropower Sustainability Environmental, Social and Governance Gap) Analysis Tool.

Reference to criteria statements is in inserted boxes within every guideline. Next is a comprehensive explanation of statement requirements to achieve good international practice, comprising term definitions and practical examples.

The industry presently has HST (Hydropower Sustainability Tools) to improve understanding of hydropower sustainability. Performance not following the HGIIP is measured using the HSAP (Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol), which considers all 26 guidelines, measuring performance below and above-defined practice.

In that way, projects can benchmark how they perform in a detailed manner.

Moreover, the HESG, launched in 2018, serves to examine gaps against standard or good practice linked to provided guidelines.

Additionally, it includes a management plan for loopholes to ensure the improvement of processes and results.