Most of my clients have eco-efficiency goals in each of what I call “the big 3” – energy, waste, and water. That said, the single issue that gets the most attention is energy, due to its obvious ties to carbon (climate change) and to cost savings. Even when water has its own goal, many companies capture the energy saved from water conservation and go so far as to convert that to carbon and carbon footprint reduction. Fully a third of California’s energy goes to moving water around the state.
Well today – World Water Day – is a day where you can hold your head high for simply focusing on water. World Water Day is about awareness of water quality supply and related health and economic issues. In honor of this day, National Geographic has published a special issue on water with a series of wonderful photos showing the best that NatGeo has to offer.
In the corporate real estate ecosystem, water plays an important role in employee services, heating and cooling, landscaping. Many of our clients who used to provide bottled water as part of food services in conference rooms and admin office have replaced that service with fountains and reusable containers. (Note to employees – don’t take those reusable cups home!) Water-free or high-efficiency urinals can be very cost-effective solutions for your business. Take a look at your water spigots in restrooms – are they using proper aerators?
If you’re building a new building, you might consider on-site water treatment to save money on municipal services. And don’t forget that run-off from parking lots is a direct impact on water quality. Land conservation efforts that include retention ponds or other water-protective features make a difference for years to come.
Our suggestions for today include raising your own awareness of this important issue (check!), planning a water footprint exercise for your organization, and asking your facilities teams for their top water conservation suggestions.