Managed reduction in water consumption is something we know quite a lot about, having become one of the leading UK suppliers of end-to-end solutions in this area over the past few years. For example, our proven, measured water-saving, carbon cutting solutions are now installed in many hundreds of hotel rooms across the country, delivering full return on investment in a matter of months.
We are actively, right now, helping businesses to reduce their water consumption by up to 50 per cent, with the “bonus” that this also cuts carbon because less energy is burned in heating the water.
Many UK households are also now feeling the financial benefit of their investment in our solutions so, as a Carbon Trust accredited supplier, we were particularly interested in what the Carbon Trust had to say about water conservation and sustainability, not least because it is a globally recognised, independent and impartial organisation.
We certainly hope to continue discussions and effective work with the Carbon Trust around this most pressing of sustainability issues. The Carbon Trust has just launched the world’s first international award for water reduction “to catalyse business action on measuring, managing and reducing water use”.
It is a move that changes fundamentally corporate sustainability benchmarks and how investors, stakeholders and customers view companies. The Water Standard initiative comes because the Trust says that “Carbon reduction is no longer enough”.
This is something that has been central to SaveMoneyCutCarbon since it launched because we saw that cutting carbon had a commercial imperative and needed to work across every point at which we consumed utilities – from lighting to heating to water use.
The Trust and leading business pioneers in water management say that water “is the new frontier in the battle against climate change and the devastating impact of depleting resources”. The Water Standard is a means of raising awareness and encouraging companies of all sizes to reduce their water consumption “as a matter of urgency”.
These are robust words from the Trust and we at SaveMoneyCutCarbon fully concur with its view, as do Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston, four early adopters of the Carbon Trust Water Standard.
We know that, on current forecasts, within 17 years global freshwater demand will be 40 per cent above the current supply but climate change and pollution are already having a growing impact on the usable resources. This increase far outstrips current availability of freshwater resources.
These facts were highlighted at last year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio with UN-Water stating that the “success of green economy depends on sustainable, integrated and resource-efficient management of water resources”.
The stark figures add great weight to the argument that has been long rehearsed but little heeded until now. The basic commercial point is this – businesses will face water scarcity challenges in just a few years’ time, with the spectre of substantially increased costs, even bringing operations to a halt.
As Tom Daley, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, says: “Addressing water use within a business has, until now, not been high on the agenda for many businesses. However, the harsh realities of future water scarcity mean that this needs to change and fast. We’ve launched the Water Standard to help companies to monitor and manage their water usage and build resource efficiency into future business plans.
“We know from our extensive experience helping companies to manage carbon reduction that a stringent approach to use of resources can lead to new commercial opportunities and thriving businesses, particularly for those who take the lead here and set the benchmark for others to follow.”
More information on the Carbon Trust here but we would just add a final thought – companies will understand that there is a compelling need to move “beyond compliance” and focus on active sustainability as a core part of their Corporate Responsibility strategies.