Water is probably our most valuable natural resource, but did you know that the average wastage of water per person is over 1,000 litres a week? Scaling this up to your business could mean that thousands of litres of water could be being wasted.
Businesses of any industry can save money by conserving water and optimising their water consumption. In doing so, you demonstrate solid corporate environmental stewardship, improve your industry reputation and can take steps to be in line with the ISO 140001 standard on environmental management. You can learn more about these international standards and credentials here.
Using good financial and ecological sense, you can save water in the workplace and use your positive brand reputation to stimulate this same change across your industry.
What are the benefits for small businesses?
Tackling your water consumption is massively important. The results of our heavy usage include the lowering of our natural water table. Whilst we have the capabilities of building more reservoirs to supply our demand, they disrupt natural hydrological systems and local wildlife. The transportation of water from reservoirs also uses an incredible amount of energy through transportation alone, but also the creation of infrastructure.
Using less water can help your business to:
- Reduce your costs by managing your water effectively.
- Develop resilience to water scarcity.
- Develop flood resilience (which can be very costly if you’re affected by floods).
- Realise market opportunities through competitive advantages by supplying water-efficient products.
- Respond to investor expectations of increasing sustainability.
- Comply with government policy and legislation on corporate sustainability surrounding water issues.
- Meet consumer expectations for ethical consumption and environmental friendliness.
- Reduce your carbon emissions by cutting energy costs of water treatment and the creation of less wastewater.
Ensuring your water consumption is reduced by seeing water as natural capital ensures that more knowledgeable investment decisions can be made. This makes it easier to mitigate risks to your business using natural services. Positive long-term performance is dependent on a developed understanding of the financial, environmental, and social factors on reducing water consumption.
What can I do to reduce my water usage?
There are several things you can consider when reducing your business’ water usage.
Replace taps within your premises with spray taps
They reduce the volume of water coming out of the tap without diminishing pressure quality. Replacing toilets with dual-flush toilets can save thousands of litres of water a year, providing a large opportunity for saving money within your business whilst also being more sustainable.
If you have old plumbing fixtures, you can lose up to 20 gallons of water daily due to a dripping faucet, which is damaging not only to your organisation’s finances but also wasteful to the environment. Therefore, installing low-flow or spray taps and low-flow toilets will improve the efficiency of your plumbing system.
Get your staff on board with reducing water consumption
Every member of your team and even visitors to your organisation should take an interest in reducing water consumption. Staff may benefit from an awareness training exercise surrounding this topic to educate them on everyday habits to reduce water consumption.
This could include:
- correct faucet running time
- smart water habits with the use of reusable water bottles – which is another aspect to consider for your company’s branding
- Sustainable use of any onsite laundry, dishwasher or shower facility
If feasible, this can become a renewable source of water. With a few modifications, buildings in urban areas can benefit from harvesting rainwater and treat and store this water on site for use within your business.
Put a spotlight on your sustainability journey.
If you’re already taking steps towards net zero with environmentally-friendly products, services or business practices, we’d love to hear about it! Enter the sustainability category of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2022 for free today.