Water is a finite resource that needs protection. For too long, we’ve been able to turn on the tap and have a plentiful supply of water, but water shortages are becoming ever more widespread. Across the world companies are being encouraged to think differently about water. We all need to start thinking of it as a precious commodity.
Waterwise in a national organisation that is actively supporting and promoting water efficiency good practice. Every year they host the UK Water Efficiency Product Awards in a bid to highlight products, technology and approaches which are beneficial to the economy, society and the environment.
Promoting water efficiency products and practices is one way of encouraging businesses and consumers to get on-board. From low flow nozzles on taps and rainwater harvesting, to water audits and flow monitoring, a few small changes have had a big impact when it comes to reducing water use.
An increasing number of businesses are embracing water efficiency and reaping the rewards. According to WRAP, savings of at least 20% can be made on water bills by the majority of organisations who implement water saving measures. These include installing devices such as an ultrasonic flow meter to monitor water flow in processes, liquid level monitors to control water levels and other means of optimising water use.
In last year’s Waterwise Ceremony, the winner of the Environment Agency Chairman’s Award was Howard Nursery. This large scale wholesale perennial specialist in Suffolk has invested in a number of environmental measures including solar powered electricity generation and peat free planting. They were awarded for the creation of a reservoir and water management system which allows them to operate self-sufficiently.
Howard Nursery grows around 2 million propagated plants per year. The cost savings that are made from not relying on mains water are extensive and help the company to remain competitive in the supply of plants to independent retailers, garden designers and garden centres. In addition to cost savings, the company is enhancing the local environment with a reservoir full of fish, reeds and other plants.
Bourne Leisure was the winner in the Business and Industry category. The company owns Butlins, Haven and Warner Resort brands and prides itself on offering enjoyable, safe, secure and appealing family holidays. When it was time for an upgrade of the accommodation and facilities at their national resorts, the company decided to put water efficiency measures at the heart of their plans.
In total £94 million was spent on the Bourne Leisure revamp, yet cost savings can be made on a daily basis without any compromise to the quality of facilities. Investment in water efficiency measures will start to pay for themselves over the coming years.
In addition to their green credentials, Bourne Leisure has been ranked as the Best Big Company to Work For annually for the past 7 years. Could there be any connection between the two? If you are a company that cares about the environment, are you more likely to care about your employees?
Recruiting and Retaining Employees
Recent surveys have revealed that the millennial generation are keen to work for ethical companies. They want their work to contribute towards socially responsible practices that make a positive impact. They are attracted to companies and organisations that have embedded sustainable practices and promote opportunities to take part in activities such as volunteering as part of their programme of corporate social responsibility.
This may not seem important at this point in time, but by 2025 three quarters of the workforce will be millennials. Embedding sustainable practices such as water efficiency into the workplace can already lead to considerable savings in water bills, but if it can also aid staff recruitment and retention, it’s another persuasive argument.
Recognition For Action
Cost savings may be a just reward for your investment. An ethical reputation that encourages staff recruitment and retention, as well as new customers could be further benefits. The icing on the top could be public recognition and an award.
If your company has been actively taking innovative steps towards minimising water use, you may still have time to enter. The closing date for entries for the 2017 Awards is on 13th January. You can find further details and product categories on the Waterwise website.