Every venture, from the fledgling startup to corporate giants, understands that water is a life-giving resource, yet it is often taken for granted. The balancing act of increasing regulatory demands and heightened public consciousness has underscored the critical need for effective water conservation methods in today’s business landscape.
This is more than a mere compliance issue or a strategic move to enhance brand reputation – it’s a commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability that reverberates throughout the global community. To ensure the long-term availability of water, it’s crucial for businesses to understand the importance of water conservation and embrace it as an integral part of their operations.
This blog will delve into the heart of water preservation, and explore five transformative practices that can help businesses make a significant leap towards sustainable water management.
The Importance of Water Conservation in Businesses
Freshwater, a vital resource underpinning nearly every facet of our lives, surprisingly comprises a scant 3% of all the water on Earth. Businesses heavily rely on this finite and delicate resource for their daily operations. Regrettably, pollution and overexploitation pose significant threats to its sustainability.
Recognising the importance of water conservation in the business realm is crucial. A firm commitment to conservation isn’t just an environmental imperative, it delivers a host of tangible benefits. These include a significant reduction in utility costs, improved public perception, increased customer loyalty and a considerable contribution to environmental preservation.
5 Best Practices for Water Conservation in Businesses
Acknowledging the need for preserving our valuable resource, businesses are increasingly exploring ways to save water in their operations. Let’s examine five best practices that companies can employ to boost their water efficiency and conservation.
1. Make Regular Water Audits a Priority
Identifying inefficiencies and wastage is the first step towards water conservation. Regular water audits provide a snapshot of your organisation’s water usage, helping to understand how water is consumed in daily operations. Through audits, businesses can detect leaks, identify wasteful practices, and implement appropriate water conservation methods. Moreover, by periodically revisiting these audits, you can continuously refine your strategies and monitor progress over time.
2. Upgrade to Water-Efficient Equipment
The role of technology in water conservation cannot be overstated. Invest in water-efficient equipment, such as Energy Star-rated appliances, which are specifically designed with water efficiency in mind. For instance, upgrading to a water-efficient dishwasher can save thousands of gallons each year compared to a standard model. This is one of the many ways to save water that will also lead to significant cost savings for your business.
3. Embrace Water Recycling and Reuse Technologies
Emulating industry leaders like Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas could be beneficial for your water conservation efforts. The paper giant has made remarkable strides in water recycling, significantly reducing its water footprint. Investing in technologies like greywater systems, rainwater harvesting, or on-site water treatment facilities will enable your business to recycle and reuse water, leading to significant water preservation.
4. Foster a Culture of Water Conservation
Your team is a crucial part of your water conservation journey. Educate your employees about the importance of water conservation and engage them in brainstorming innovative ways to save water. This could be as simple as turning off taps when not in use or as complex as coming up with system-wide improvements. Recognising and rewarding ideas that lead to water savings can further foster a culture of conservation.
5. Implement a Comprehensive Water Management Plan
Lastly, develop a water management plan that details your business’ water conservation goals, strategies, and methods. This should serve as a living document that evolves with your company and the latest advancements in water conservation technology. Regular review and updates are crucial, ensuring that your business stays at the forefront of water preservation.
Asia Pulp & Paper: A Leader in Water Conservation
Asia Pulp & Paper has made significant strides in implementing water conservation measures in its operations. The paper giant’s initiatives demonstrate that water conservation is achievable at a large scale, and provides inspiration and a model for other businesses to follow.
Water plays a crucial role in its operations, essential to the pulp and paper production processes, as well as steam production. Despite this reliance, Asia Pulp & Paper has consistently prioritised protecting local water sources at all mill sites. Its strategy? Minimise consumption and adhere to the highest environmental standards when discharging water, thus enabling the recycling of water back to its sources.
To meet these ambitious goals, the company conducts water balance studies at all mills, coupled with regular sampling checks assisted by external water experts. Through the implementation of cutting-edge technology and initiatives, Asia Pulp & Paper has successfully reduced their water consumption. In fact, its ‘3R’ strategy for water – reduce, reuse, and recycle – mirrors its broader environmental approach, contributing to a 10% reduction in water intensity by the end of 2021 relative to a 2018 baseline.
Take the Indah Kiat Serang mill, for instance. With constant water monitoring and supervision, this mill accurately predicts rainfall during the wet season to optimise its use even in dry periods. The mill has created an ingenious method of utilising the flood-prone Ciujung River by constructing a lagoon with a capacity of four million cubic metres, allowing it to harness water even during the dry season. Asia Pulp & Paper’s constant pursuit of water efficiency is a clear demonstration of its commitment to conservation.
Overall, Asia Pulp & Paper’s records for 2021 paint an impressive picture: 14% of the water utilised in its processes was recycled. In raw figures, this equates to the reuse, recycle, and recovery of over 551,936 tonnes of water in a single year. In addition to these significant achievements, Asia Pulp & Paper has been recognised for its exceptional efforts in water management. In 2021, the company received a B grade from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in the Water category. This notable recognition affirms the importance of water conservation to the paper giant’s ethos and serves as a testament to their tangible actions to preserve this crucial resource.
Through its water management methods, Asia Pulp & Paper is leading the way, showing how businesses can intertwine robust operations with a strong commitment to sustainability. Their significant strides in water conservation exemplifies how businesses, through unwavering dedication, innovation, and a systematic approach, can take on a pivotal role in safeguarding our world’s most precious resource.