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Water Efficient Strategy: A Way Towards Corporate Sustainability

Water Efficient Strategy: A Way Towards Corporate Sustainability

Society demands corporate attention to sustainability

. While you could argue that any time an external entity places a "demand" upon an organization, it represents a threat that must be addressed. You could also argue that the drive to sustainability makes good fiscal sense as well. The first step is to gather accurate and quantifiable information to create a baseline. This should be applied to all scarce resources, including energy and water, with both a carbon and a water footprint revealed.

A water efficient strategy may be implemented once a baseline position has been calculated and a thorough analysis of the true cost of water quite clearly understood. The full accounting approach should be adopted, so that expenses associated with indirect liabilities are factored into the equation. If a particular action associated with water treatment or discharge "upsets" a particular stakeholder or an investor, what are the real implications, in financial and other terms of this action?

Our society could demand much corporate attention to sustainability. While you could argue that any time an external entity places a "demand" upon an organization, it represents a threat that must be addressed. You could also argue that the drive to sustainability makes good fiscal sense as well. The first step is to gather accurate and quantifiable information to create a baseline. This should be applied to all scarce resources, including energy and water, with both a carbon and a water footprint revealed.

Once all actual liabilities and potential process-to-outcome scenarios are clearly understood, a water efficient strategy must be prioritized by the corporate board. It's time to practice sustainability on a daily basis, both internally and externally, by thought as well as by deed.

In terms of sustainability, liability does not end at the corporate boundary. We are compelled to direct more attention to the supply chain emissions and other consequent liabilities as these are perceived to have direct impacts to organizational operations.

We need to engage with our suppliers in order to make sure that they are very efficient in terms of the manufacturing, production, transportation or even with the disposal of goods and services which are designed for our operation. This applies not only to the energy that they use and the carbon emitted, but they must also have a clear, water efficient strategy of their own.

Many consider that a water efficient strategy should revolve around the curtailment of water usage itself. There may, however, be more capital to be gained in both direct and indirect terms by focusing on the creation of products that are far less reliant on water at their core. Water efficient strategy starts at the design phase but not in the operational phase.

Remember that a company's water efficient strategy will be highly visible. Do a good job here and the company's brand management and public image can receive a considerable boost. Despite the slow progress in terms of how organizations are taking up sustainability as a priority issue, no one should underestimate the potential gains.

As a water efficient strategy can be readily rolled out and (with the most effective measurement, tracking and reporting solutions in place) can be accurately revealed, much positional capital can be gained. While financial saving potential may well be the most justifiable reason for enacting a top class water efficient strategy, reputational gain must be quantifiable as well.

by: Daniel Stouffer
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