Ripples of Change
Drip, drip, drip . . . Just as the annoying sound of water dripping from your faucet gets you to call the plumber, consider this your call to action to think about water sustainability in manufacturing. This past Sunday was World Water Day and this year the theme was sustainable development. How is your organization managing this precious resource?
Water is fundamental to life and manufacturing. While water covers much of our planet, only a very small percentage—roughly 1%—is available for human use. This is why it’s important to use this resource more efficiently and implement measures to ensure sustainability.
Water security is among the many global issues affecting our increasingly global communities and planet. Companies can help—and many already are. Pentair, for example, is collaborating with private-public partners to find solutions to water scarcity issues abroad. To date, Project Safewater has delivered safe, fresh water to 1 million people worldwide. Water scarcity is vital to the economic development and security of all nations. Thus, the water crisis was identified as the top global risk at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.
California is suffering its worst drought in a century. This spells trouble for the crops growing there, which affects your dinner plate. A recent study by Arizona State University highlighted how intertwined the Colorado River is to the Southwest’s economy, finding that 87% of Nevada’s gross state product relies on that water source.
JetBlue is examining their water strategy as it relates to the company’s longevity. They understand that to protect their business they have to protect water. Why? Their business relies on people wanting to travel to beach locations—and no one wants to shell out airfare to sit on a polluted beach. So they got involved. Forward-looking leaders at companies such as Unilever, Levi Strauss, Coca-Cola, Tom’s of Maine, and Mars are examining their water footprints and developing strategies through reduction targets, replenishment, and recycling.
The health of your business is inextricably linked to the health of your water supply. As Ceasars Entertainment stated regarding their commitment to limiting its water intensity, “We do this because we believe it is the right thing to do, it is our commitment to the environment, and it also happens to make good business sense. Water saving measures have saved $1.5 million in operating costs.”