Six ways companies can cut their water footprints

The Guardian’s expert panel have put together six ways that companies can put water at the heart of their operations.

Everything we consume has a hidden water footprint:

  1. Recognise the value of water – with a lack of appreciation for the value of water – it can be taken for granted ad resources are wasted, says André Fourie, head of water security and environmental value at SABMiller.
  2. Measure it – Dexter Galvin, head of the supply chain programme at CDP says it might sound obvious, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage”, but the basics of water accounting are key for companies. Identify water use and distinguish between direct and indirect water use.
  3. Engage with suppliers on water management – Innocent Drinks helped Spanish strawberry farmers slash water use by 40. Jessica Samson, head of sustainability, said Innocent addressed the wider impact of water reduction on the strawberry farmers’ livelihoods, meaning they considered reducing water consumption in a way that was low cost, but retained the same yield and quality.
  4. Use new technology – adopting new technology will help companies reduce water consumption. Aaron Burton, director of projects and programmes at Waterwise says “smart metering and big data can help organisations from SMEs to large corporations better understand and manage water use.”
  5. Ensure internal buy-in – understanding water related risk is key to ensuring internal buy-in, says Ashok Chapagain, science director of the Water Footprint Network.
  6. Collaborate – a company can take steps to reduce its water use, but if it doesn’t work collaboratively with other companies then stakeholders may not succeed.

Read the full article here.