Ethics and Safeguards

Cowater is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards. As a company, we conduct business with honesty, integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws.

We have developed and implemented these key best practice policies to ensure we meet and often exceed our statutory obligations.


Cowater is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all individuals either delivering or benefiting from its projects. Cowater has a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to its personnel, beneficiaries and clients to ensure that it upholds a zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. We investigate such incidences promptly and thoroughly and take firm disciplinary action accordingly.


We consider the environmental impact of all our activities and operations. All our activities are conducted with due consideration of potential environmental impacts of our work and proper steps are taken to ensure any negative impacts are reduced. We aim to prevent any environmental damage, reduce pollution, minimize resource usage and ensure the overarching themes of sustainable development are integrated company wide.

Anti-slavery and trafficking

As a global development organization, our projects require us to mobilize personnel, source equipment, allocate resources and maintain operations in very difficult working environments. We recognize the risks of human trafficking and modern slavery in our supply chains. We ensure anti-trafficking and slavery principles are upheld.

Child Protection

Our company is committed to ensuring that its services, activities and operations are conducted in a manner that upholds the international principles of child protection and children’s rights in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We protect children from exploitation and abuse in the implementation of projects that involve working with children and/or contact with children.

Duty of Care

Cowater is committed to the legal and ethical obligation of “Duty of Care”, ensuring that our personnel (including our employees, sub-contractors or agents) and other parties are ensured a reasonable standard of care is provided to prevent foreseeable harm.  Cowater actively takes responsibility for the safety and well-being of our personnel, and any third parties affected by our activities, including appropriate security arrangements. Cowater achieves this through applying Canadian, our client’s or relevant national health and safety laws.

Cowater’s Duty of Care goes beyond simple compliance, with an ability to conduct International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 31000 standard Security Risk Assessments (SRAs) to develop comprehensive, intelligent and value for money safety and security risk management systems. Cowater’s risk management capability has been critical in our success in implementing projects globally, including in fragile and unstable environments, while ensuring our personnel’s safety and security.

Do No Harm and Conflict Sensitivity

Cowater recognises that care should be taken to ensure that any aid investment does not lead to environmental, social or economic impacts, that ultimately undermines their results. Unintended or poorly managed impacts can affect people’s quality of life and economic opportunities.

Cowater ensures that any of its activities protect the health, welfare and livelihoods of people and communities affected, including women, children, people with a disability and indigenous peoples.

Cowater strives to integrate not just Do No Harm, but also the principles of Conflict Sensitivity in any relevant activity. We try to make our work in fragile or unstable contexts at least conflict neutral, if not reducing the factors that drive conflict.

Anti-corruption and fraud

Wherever it exists, corruption undermines the health and credibility of social, economic, and democratic institutions. Cowater considers corruption a major constraint on development in many countries. We take the necessary steps to eliminate any form of corruption from our practices including, but not limited to, criminal offences, official misconduct, bribery, blackmail, unauthorized use of confidential information, fraud, and theft.

Social inclusion

Cowater is firmly committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, while practicing and promoting non-discrimination of all kinds. We are taking numerous steps to support gender equality and social inclusion across all of its projects and operations. We support the promotion and achievement of equality between girls and boys, men and women, irrespective of sex, age, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, economic status, or ability/disability.


Please contact us at to receive the most recent version of our code of conduct.


Statement on Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking