Business water bill audits for all: A look to the future

As the population continues to rise and demand grows for finite resources like water, it’s clear that measures need to be put in place now to ensure we have access to fresh water in the future.

In February, the Carbon Trust launched the new Water Standard with the aim of improving the measurement, management and reduction of water use. Business across Europe will be encouraged to work towards achieving the Water Standard and penalties have been discussed for companies that fail to measure, manage and reduce water use.

Businesses can easily assess their current water use with a business water bill audit, which will identify the current levels of water being used. The audit will also identify where reductions could be made without compromising production. Reductions in water use are not only beneficial to the environment, but also lead to savings in your water bills, which improves the profitability of the business.

The Carbon Trust is known as an organisation that looks at ways of reducing carbon emissions and energy efficiency. They have added water to their areas for action as the global economy is already being affected by water shortages caused by excessive use of clean water supplies for industry and agriculture. The Water Standard will provide us with the chance to have long term access to clean water for both business and domestic use.

During the development of the Water Standard, the Carbon Trust worked closely with Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston, the first four companies who signed up to be early adopters of the Carbon Trust Water Standard. It is essential that all other businesses follow their example, as the predicted level of water consumption in 2030 significantly exceeds the current availability of fresh water. Failure to act now could affect us all.

At present many businesses do not see water reduction as a priority, but it is likely that legislation will be introduced to encourage, or even enforce Business Water Bill Audits and achievement of the Carbon Trust’s Water Standard.

For small businesses, the changes may be minimal and the reductions in both use and water bills relatively low, however for larger companies, or industries that use high volumes of water in production, the savings in use and bills could be extensive. For example, Sainsbury’s is on track for achieving its goal to reducing water use by 50% by the end of this year, which amounts to just under 400 Olympic Sized Swimming Pools.

To achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard organisations must:

·         Measure water input from mains supply, surface water abstraction, groundwater abstraction and rainwater collection.

·         Measure water output as trade effluent.

·         Demonstrate reduction in water use over time to both water inputs and trade effluent. This can be done either in absolute terms, or in water intensity reduction in relation to turnover or product.

·         Achieve a passing score of 60% on a qualitative assessment of water governance, measurement and management. This assessment includes a site visit.

If you are interested in how your business could reduce water use, you can contact us today to arrange a Business Water Bill Audit on 01442 832034. If we can’t save you money, you don’t pay for our services, so there is nothing to lose.

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