How Businesses Can Reduce Their Water Usage
Water is one of our most precious resources, and industry uses a great deal of it. From the water used in the process of manufacturing things like automobiles to the plastic water bottles many business leaders give out to clientele and customers, running a successful company means using much of this resource. Is there any way leaders can take the reins and reduce the water use of their daily operations?
Absolutely. While it does take a bit of initial expenditure, the payoff in savings to the company bottom line, not to mention the environment, is well worth it. Here are six things business leaders can do to reduce the amount of water their plant or office building uses in the course of everyday operations.
1. Call in a Professional
The first step in lowering your business water use is calling in a professional water auditor. While such inspectors sometimes work in government agencies, private practitioners help the corporate world utilise their water resources wisely.
A water audit consists of five steps. Step one begins with researching use and bills and leads to the actual walk through of your facility (step two). Steps three and four consist of analysing bills in detail and estimating the cost of replacing fixtures with low flow ones, etc. Finally, in step five, you receive an individualised action plan for your company which provides a detailed analysis of how much and how quickly you will recoup the return on your investment.
2. Think Low-Flow Everything
Regardless of whether you run an office building or a factory, one thing you can do to save water is install low-flow fixtures in all bathroom and kitchen areas. These include things such as waterless urinals, touchless faucets, low-flow aerators in toilets, as well as low-flow shower heads if your facility contains such amenities on site.
Touchless faucets improve hygiene as well as save water. They eliminate the need to touch the faucet with wet, germ-filled hands to turn off the flow while you lather. This also keeps restrooms looking neater, a feature client guests to the building appreciate. Low-flow shower heads and toilets use far less water than the regular models — the right aerators save as much as 75 percent of water use, making the switch pay for itself in little time.
3. Consider Recycled Water
If you run a manufacturing facility, you can save considerable money by switching to recycled water. In fact, automotive giant General Motors recently saved $2 million by reusing stormwater in their automotive manufacturing facilities.
How does water recycling work? Water recycling refers to the process by which facilities collect stormwater, wastewater or greywater, clean it and return it for use in industrial operations. Advanced water recycling machines can even cut energy output, saving your organisation money there as well.
4. Educate Your Staff Members
One step any business owner can take to preserve water is educating their staff members. This costs the organisation little except for time, and many organisations may find they have staff members capable of leading educational seminars by sending out surveys.
Topics you’ll want to cover in your seminar include:
- Best practices. Teach techniques such as turning off the faucet while lathering hands for the required time.
- Smart water habits. Include things like the importance of carrying reusable water bottles.
- Conservation tips. if your facility has onsite laundry, dishwasher or shower facilities, include information on keeping bathing times to a minimum and saving up full loads prior to starting machinery.
5. Explore Xeriscaping
Office landscaping uses a ton of water. Xeriscaping refers to the practice of using native, drought-resistant flora in landscaping to minimise water use. While it may cost a bit of an investment at first to replace grass with native plants, the payoff in water — and in landscape maintenance — makes doing so cost-saving in the long run.
6. Reconsider Bottled Water
If your office is in the habit of gifting visitors single-use plastic water bottles with your company logo, consider investing in a different type of client gift and opt instead for water coolers. You can order reusable cups with your company logo instead of using disposable paper cups, and you can order reusable mugs and water bottles to give as appreciation gifts to favoured clients.
Reducing Water Helps the Planet and Saves Costs
The business of any industry is making money, and the more you save by conserving water, the better. Plus, in doing so, you demonstrate solid corporate environmental stewardship which you can use to build a more positive brand reputation. Saving water in the workplace simply makes good fiscal and ecological sense.