The Carbon Trust is today launching the world's first international award for water
reduction to catalyse business action on measuring, managing
and reducing water use. This will fundamentally change businesses'
sustainability benchmarks and the way they are viewed by investors,
stakeholders and customers.
Carbon reduction is no longer enough. According to the Carbon
Trust and a number of leading business pioneers in water
management, water is the new frontier in the battle against climate
change and the devastating impact of depleting resources. The
Carbon Trust is using this platform to urge businesses to reduce
their water consumption as a matter of urgency.
In developing the methodology for this new award the Carbon
Trust has worked closely with Sainsbury's, Coca-Cola Enterprises,
Sunlight and Branston, four early adopters of the Carbon
Trust Water Standard.
According to the Carbon Trust, businesses around the world are
not acting fast enough, despite the fact that global water use is
predicted to increase dramatically by 2030 to a level far exceeding current freshwater
availability. Failure to act is exposing businesses to water
scarcity issues down the line, which in some cases could lead to
dramatically increased costs, or could grind operations to a
Interviews with 475 senior executives of large companies in the
UK, USA, China, South Korea and Brazil found that only one in seven
of those businesses has set a target on water reduction, or
publicly reported on water performance. Of those businesses that do see water as a
priority risk, two-thirds listed water availability as an issue,
although this figure was significantly higher in countries such as
China (78%), Brazil (74%) and South Korea (75%). 86% were concerned
that legislation is hovering on the horizon, as governments around
the world assess the vulnerability of water resources, and review
their policy on water scarcity.
By 2030 it is estimated that global
freshwater demand will be 40% above the current supply. Climate change and
pollution are already having a growing
impact on the useable supply. This was recognised at the UN
Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio last year, with
UN-Water issuing a statement that the "success of green economy
depends on sustainable, integrated and resource-efficient
management of water resources."
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust,
"Addressing water use within a business has, until now, not been
high on the agenda for many businesses. However, the harsh
realities of future water scarcity mean this needs to change and
fast. We've launched the Water Standard to help
companies to monitor and manage their water usage and build
resource efficiency into future business plans. We know from our
extensive experience helping companies to manage carbon reduction
that a stringent approach to use of resources can lead to new
commercial opportunities and thriving businesses, particularly for
those who take the lead here and set the benchmark for others to
David Nussbaum, Executive Director of WWF UK,
"Water resources are finite, and no resource is more fundamental
than water to the health and security of people and the
environment. Growing demand, poor management and climate
change are creating a global water challenge. In order to
manage risk, organisations need to take action to measure, manage
and reduce their water use and to encourage better water management
across river basins. Standards such as that developed by the
Carbon Trust help open these practices up to rigorous, independent
certification; and committing to reducing water use year-on-year
lets businesses demonstrate that they have begun the journey
towards improved water stewardship."
John Brock, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises,
"Water is fundamental to our business and our communities. To be
a sustainability leader, we recognize that we must fully understand
our impact beyond carbon. By measuring and managing our water
impact within our operations as well as across our value chain, we
can address longer-term water scarcity issues. This certification
recognizes the progress we have made towards becoming a
Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability, Engineering, Energy
and Environment at Sainsbury's, said:
"We are delighted to be one of the first companies to be
recognised by the Carbon Trust Water Standard for reducing our
water consumption, particularly at this crucial time of increasing
natural resource scarcity. We will achieve our target of a 50
per cent relative reduction in water use by the end of next month
which is a saving equivalent to 393 Olympic sized swimming pools
each year. We have achieved this through a number of water
saving measures that form part of our 20x20 Sustainability
Plan. This includes eradicating underground leaks, saving
individual stores hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
We have also fitted things like pre-rinse spray taps and low-flush
toilets in all our stores and invested in rainwater harvesting for
all new stores as standard as well as retrofitting these units in
Julian Carr, Director of Sunlight Services Group,
"At Sunlight, we've reduced water usage through redesigning our
wash processes and through investing over £2m in equipment and
systems to clean and then re-use water. We've made good progress
and in the last five years we've reduced our water usage by a
massive one billion litres per year. In achieving this we have also
saved hundreds of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year,
because less water has to be pumped and treated. We're proud to be
among the first companies to be awarded the Carbon Trust Water
Standard and we're looking forward to working with the Carbon Trust
to make further reductions in the coming years."
Graeme Beattie, Managing Director of Branston
"Over the past few years we've invested in some major
initiatives to conserve our resources, and in 2008 we were first in
the food and agriculture sector to be awarded the Carbon Trust
Standard. We appreciate the independent endorsement of the Carbon
Trust and we are delighted to be one of the first companies to be
awarded the Carbon Trust Water Standard in recognition of the
ongoing and industry-leading work we are undertaking to conserve
our water supply."
Notes to Editors
Carbon Trust Water Standard Methodology
To achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard organisations
- Measure water input from mains supply, surface water
abstraction, groundwater abstraction and rainwater collection.
- Measure water output as trade effluent.
- Demonstrate reduction in water use over time to both water
inputs and trade effluent. This can be done either in absolute
terms, or in water intensity reduction in relation to turnover or
- Achieve a passing score of 60% on a qualitative assessment of
water governance, measurement and management. This assessment
includes a site visit.
Sainsbury's Reducing Water Use
Water stewardship is one of Sainsbury's key environmental
targets and it forms part of its industry-leading 20x20
Sustainability Plan, which is the cornerstone of the company's
business strategy. The retailer has been working closely with
the leading water management specialists, Waterscan, and is on
track to achieve its target of a 50 per cent relative reduction in
its water use by the end of March 2013, which is a saving of 393
Olympic sized swimming pools each year.
Over the past year Sainsbury's has focused on identifying and
eradicating underground water leaks by installing automatic meter
loggers on incoming water metres. For example, it identified
a leak at its supermarket in Wigan saving 21 Olympic sized swimming
pools worth of water each year (53,710m3 or over £130,000 per
annum). It has also been carrying out comprehensive audits to
improve water efficiencies throughout its estate and fitting low
flush toilets and pre-rinse spray taps in all its stores.
Rainwater harvesting is being installed in all new stores as
standard and it is currently looking at retrofitting rainwater
harvesting units in existing stores. For example, a unit
retrofitted at Sainsbury's Swansea now supplies water for toilet
flushing in the store and has achieved an annual mains water
consumption saving of 1,300m3. Sainsbury's has also invested
in car wash water reclaim units at 66 of its stores saving nine
Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water each year
Coca-Cola Enterprises Reducing Water Use
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is using less water by becoming more
water-efficient through a range of efficiency programs, new
technologies and the commitment of its employees. CCE's factories
in France and Great Britain are the most water-efficient Coca-Cola
production plants in the world.
The company has made major changes to specific elements of its
manufacturing process, including using dry and semi-dry lubricants
to move cans and PET bottles along production lines, employing air
(rather than water) rinsers to rinse bottles and cans before they
are filled, using recycle and reclaim loops that recover any water
used for further cleaning processes and harvesting rainwater which
is then used for washing vehicles and for ﬂushing staff
CCE ensures that 100% of its wastewater is treated and returned
to the environment at standards supporting aquatic life, and of its
17 manufacturing sites have environmental management systems,
certified to ISO 14001, which help the company to manage its
CCE is looking at its water impact upstream and downstream of
its value chain. The company is committed to protecting its water
sources and in 2012 has developed and/or updated source water
protection plans at each of its 17 manufacturing sites- based on
initial source water vulnerability assessments.
The company is also working on replenishing the water it uses in
its beverages. In 2012, it started working in partnership with WWF
UK, the Coca-Cola Company, the North West Kent Countryside
Partnership and the Norfolk Rivers Trust to improve the local river
habitat of the River Nar (Norfolk), and is working with local
farmers to enhance local land management practices.
Sunlight Reducing Water Use
Sunlight, the UK's largest textile rental and laundry
organisation, has reduced its water usage by over 12% between 2009
and 2011 and has achieved a reduction of over 50% since 2005. In
figures, the reduction since 2007 is over one billion litres per
annum. Water supply is primarily from mains water, supplemented by
abstraction from licensed boreholes at some locations.
The company has focused both on using less water per wash cycle
and on recycling and reusing water, with up to 75% of water now
reclaimed and reused. This has required investment of over £2m in
new equipment and processes. Reverse osmosis systems have also been
introduced, to ensure that boilers are supplied with very clean
water to reduce inefficiencies and leakage. Throughout Sunlight's
estate of over 40 processing sites, water usage is monitored for
every machine during every shift to ensure that performance is
maintained and to identify areas for further improvement.
Branston Reducing Water Use
Branston uses large volumes of water to wash the thousands of
tonnes of potatoes that it packs each year, so water is a high
priority for the business. Working closely with the local
Environment Agency, the team undertook extensive investigation,
including a water balance to account for every cubic metre in and
out of the site and drawing up a water map, before investing in a
state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor water recycling plant for
their Lincoln site. The plant has enabled them to reduce mains
water consumption by around 60% as well as reducing the quantity
and improving the quality of the effluent leaving the site.
Branston was so impressed by the savings that it invested in a
similar MBR plant at the South West site in Somerset. With
additional storage capacity and 24/7 operating capability it means
that the site runs predominantly on borehole water, with mains
supply only used for topping up. Mains water consumption has been
reduced by over 60% and the company is not contributing to water
stress in the area. It all fits with their commitment to long-term
sustainability, not just for the business, but the wider
About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to
accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The
- advises businesses, governments and the public sector on
opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world.
- measures and certifies the environmental footprint of
organisations, products and services.
- helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions,
from energy efficiency to renewable power.
For further information on the Carbon Trust Water Standard,
please contact the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively visit www.carbontrust.com/waterstandard.