Starting or taking over a new business can be an exciting but stressful time. Organized buyers will have long checklists, while those who keep everything in their heads will fly by the seat of their pants! Whatever your management style, the beginning of a business is the perfect time to consider the impact your new endeavor will have on the environment. Adding yet more to your checklists or mind palace might seem daunting. However, it can actually be quite simple. Water conservation is one of the best and most effective ways that you can limit your impact on the planet. We have pulled together five of the easiest ways you can be proactive and conserve water. The best part is once you have got them up and running, they require very little active maintenance.
Before we begin, it is important to point out that water conservation and water needs vary wildly across the world. What a business in California should do versus one in Svalbard to conserve water will not be comparable. This particular article will focus squarely on what English businesses can do to conserve water.
The most important tip of all is to find a water supplier that understands both the importance of water conservation and the needs of your business. As of April 2017, England has a deregulated water market. This means business owners are free to choose their own suppliers. Like any utility, you will want to do your research to ensure you are getting the best deal for your business.
The ideal business water supplier will want to discuss the individual needs of your business with you before deciding on the most appropriate tariffs and services. Depending on the needs of your business, this may include wastewater management, controlled water management, and emergency water services. At the very least, you want a supplier that will carry out a water audit for you (but more on that later).
Once upon a time, utilities such as gas and electricity were billed on estimates. These had to be regularly corrected with actual readings. Water was no exception. Thanks to the advent of smart water meters, individuals and business owners alike can now get accurate daily readings of their utilities. This allows you to know exactly what you are using and when. It also sends up-to-date readings directly to your supplier, so you are never paying for more than you use.
In terms of water conservation, the ability to keep an eye on daily usage will quickly alert you to any unusual increases in your water consumption. A sharp increase could mean that you have an undiscovered leak somewhere in your system. Or, it could point to a process that is not as efficient as it could be.
Businesses that use water for industrial purposes are likely to have industry-specific devices that can help with water conservation. If you are unsure where to find information like this, it is worth asking your water supplier if they have any resources.
All businesses, whatever their industry, can benefit from basic water-saving devices. Bathroom facilities for your employees and customers are always going to be required. Luckily, they are one of the easiest places to save on water costs.
Aerated taps reduce the amount of water but not the impact of it. High-efficiency toilets and urinals can use up to half the amount of water as older models. Thus, saving liters of water. Once installed, you will start to see the savings immediately.
The classic English garden brings to mind lush green grass, and beautiful blooming rose bushes; however, these can be a major drain on water. If you have grounds that need to be maintained, give serious consideration to how you can turn it from a water suck to a water saver.
Speak to a knowledgeable gardener or landscaper to get advice on native species of plant that are hardy enough to survive without needing excessive watering. Green lawns may look pristine, but it takes a lot of water to keep them that way. Instead, consider plants such as heather, creeping thyme, and Japanese spurge. These provide evergreen ground cover without the need for lots of watering. They will also increase the biodiversity of your grounds.
Lastly, let's bring it back to the water audits that were mentioned at the beginning. Your water supplier should conduct a water audit to determine exactly how much water you are using and where. If you are taking over an existing business, this is the best way to identify any potential problem with the infrastructure that the previous owner may not have told you about. For example, leaking tanks, pipes, and taps. For a new business, it can help establish a baseline of what to expect in the future.
Implement these five ways to conserve water, and you will be well on your way to making your business as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.