Business Water Bill Audits Set to Become a Requirement

Due to the ever increasing global demands for water, The Carbon Trust has launched a scheme to tackle the issue. The trust is introducing an international standard on water reduction in an effort to encourage businesses to use this finite resource more sustainably. This new standard will require firms to measure water use and demonstrate that they are taking action to reduce consumption.

At present two thirds of European cities are using water at a greater rate than it can be replenished. Around a quarter of this is for business purposes, with the majority being for agricultural use. As an finite resource, it is vital that efficient water use becomes a priority for business leaders. The new Standard proposes a significant cost penalty for water use, so it is in the interest of the business to implement changes.

The standard follows a European Environment Agency report in March 2012, which stated that annual reactionary hosepipe ban was not sufficient for managing our valuable water supplies. It recommended that long term investment was necessary to encourage behavioural change in order to protect Europe’s limited water resources.

To be awarded the ‘Carbon Trust Water standard’ businesses will need to provide annual evidence that they are reducing their water use. Consideration will be paid to various supplies, including: mains, surface water abstraction, ground water and rainwater collection. The standard will also monitor trade effluent, as this needs to be licensed and carefully managed.

The Carbon Trust traditionally measures energy use and carbon footprints, but have focused their attentions on water because of increased global issues relating to water scarcity and the potentially threat to global fresh water supplies. If we continue to follow the current trends, the demand will significantly outweigh supply by 2030.

The Trust states that by measuring and managing water use, most businesses could easily reduce use without any impact on their business processes. If you are interested in how your business can start to make the changes, we recommend a business water bill audit. This will monitor water use and identify measures to use water more efficiently, so that you can lower your usage.

Whilst this may seem like yet another thing for businesses to deal with at a difficult economic time, there is another more immediate benefit. Greater water efficiency and reduced water use will lower your business water bill. Where significant reductions can be made, this can lead to increased profit margins, which is exactly what every business could do with right now.