The accepted definition of a ‘water positive’ business is one that puts back more water into freshwater sources than it extracts. As we recently reported, water positivity is something that global businesses are embracing, with ambitious plans for the likes of Facebook, Microsoft and PepsiCo to become water positive by 2030.
Organisations such as the Water Resilience Coalition (WRC) have been set up to encourage business leaders throughout the world to make a contribution to water positivity. Historically, we have taken the plentiful and free supply of water for granted in the business world, but this is no longer the case, and many of us have realised that water resilience is an issue that affects every business, large or small. Ivan Menezes, the CEO of Diageo and one of the WRC’s founders said: “The climate crisis is a water crisis and business has the potential to have a significant impact to address it. And I believe that business has not gone far enough yet. So we need to step it up and make a real difference as we think of our impact through 2050.”
Water positivity is a relatively new concept, but if your company’s CSR policy is to move towards Net Zero, then you will probably be interested in becoming water positive too. While the large multinational companies have the resources to be able to make a difference in the areas they are based, your business may not be able to afford to expend so much energy and profit. It may well be that in the future, you will be able to improve your business’s water impact indirectly, in the same way you can offset carbon emissions. But, for now, the more steps you take to decrease water usage and lessen the amount of water taken out of our water systems, the better.
For example, harvesting and storing rainwater and using grey water for toilet flushing and watering grounds is a huge step towards becoming water positive. Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus in drought-affected California has its own waste treatment plant and rainwater collection systems, which ensures that 100% of the non-potable water used on the campus comes from recycled sources. This prevents the company from using nearly 20 million litres of drinking water a year - what that would otherwise have been abstracted from the surrounding water-stressed environment.
There are steps you can take now that will increase your water efficiency, which will help your business in its journey towards water positivity. The good news is that using less water will cost your business less money, which means you will be saving money at the same time as contributing to your business’s sustainability credentials.
As a first step, download our free water efficiency guide - it provides lots of information and tips about saving water, which may not be as onerous or expensive as you may think. If you would like to start saving money on your water bills now, you could make an immediate saving of up to 80% by switching to Castle Water.
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