By Viet Ha, staff writer for Save The Water™ | February 17th 2014.
Being ‘socially responsible’ or acting sustainably may not be something new to firms or organizations, whether small or big. But, as an employee or manager, have you ever considered it as a serious commitment and a real vision of your company? Or is it just something people write and say, without much actions around it? If you are a customer, would you care to support a water conserving-oriented firm over other rivals?
Saving electricity or cutting costs are old news. Nowadays, firms care about saving water just as much as they are excited about cutting costs. On one hand, this help them save lots of money on operating the business, and on another, it means “we are going green”, and consumers, more often than not, supports this cause.
Saving water at a business level may sound like a more tedious task than saving water at home, but it actually starts with the same basics: fixing leaks and better toilets[i], thanks to which the UK supermarket chain Sainbury successfully saved $ 2.4 million[ii] in 2010. But what about companies that run hotel and restaurant chains? Surprisingly, Whitbread found itself surpassing its own water conservation annual goal. In stead of a 80.000-pound cut in expenses, the company actually saved 350.000 pounds ($ 519.000) [iii] on water annually and decided to commit to even higher goal of water conservation. Saving costs sound great, but if you just imagine what it really means for the amount of water no longer wasted!
Serious commitment to water conservation would also mean that firms should use water more efficiently in their operations, and have water treatment system in place. Especially for firms in beverage industry such as Coca Cola or SABMiller, water means survival. Other giants such as Unilever or Kraft have also joined the conservation effort[iv]. Together,these leading companies are setting up 20-30%[v] efficiency goal for their water usage. The concept of ‘water neutral’ is also an important step in water conservation, where firm tries to return to environment any amount of water it uses.
So, rest assured, the importance of water conservation is not only an environmentalists’ or households’ concern. It has significant role in businesses’ success as well. This promises more visible actions and positive outcome to be seen in the future of water conservation.
[i][i] [ii] [iii] CNET, Companies conserving water surprised by savings, by Candace Lombardi, June 16th 2010.
<http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20007897-54.html> Accessed on 2nd October 2013
[iv] [v] USA Today, Beverage companies pay millions to conserve water, by Ramit Pliushnick-Masti, Associated Press. August 8th 2012.
<http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/story/2012-08-11/beverage-companies-water-conservation/56875526/1> Accessed on 2nd October 2013.