Within an overall goal of sustainability, the management of water often falls far down the pecking order. Simply, companies can often not see past the need to constrain their carbon emissions. There is little wonder, as so much emphasis has been placed on the establishment of a carbon footprint that this term is very much a household word these days. Smart companies are coming to understand that they cannot be sustainable until and unless they pay attention to the management of all their resources.
You cannot reveal opportunities available, nor be fully ready for the risks that are associated with your water consumption, unless you create a footprint to fully analyze where you are. The water footprint shows how a company uses its water in the present day and how it is responsible for wastewater just by being in business. Usage and discharge of water carries many risks and the company dials these risks into its total strategy.
We're beginning to understand how carbon emissions are pervasive throughout the product lifecycle and we need to begin to calculate how our water usage also extends beyond the boundaries of the business. Thus, a corporate water strategy must look downstream at its supply chains and upstream at disposal issues. Management may discover that due to the sheer amount of water embedded within their products, or the levels of wastewater produced, that they will have to undergo a far more complex analysis than feared.
All of us are dependent on water for our very survival and it is a really finite resource. This means that the company has significant challenges and potential threats, quite apart from economic ones. While discovering their position, company bosses will have to take into account how individuals and other companies might rely on the very same source for their water. Consequently, they could be impacted in one way or another by any decisions made.
It is far better for a company to develop its corporate water strategy to exceed those of any regional or national legislative body. Once again, the forward thinking organization will seek to develop its water strategy to enhance its reputation, in the same way that it approaches carbon mitigation.
Major companies such as Wal-Mart have started to focus our attention on the operations of a supplier and how the supplier should expect scrutiny from the buying company. In particular, packaging materials are cause for concern, especially as water related impacts are concerned, as this packaging is often used to deliver work in progress materials to the production line.
In corporate terms, it is still difficult for many organizations to understand that they must be responsible for the sustainability efforts of their suppliers. This is probably the area that represents the greatest potential for savings, in both energy, emissions and water resource usage
If a lot of water is used to produce the company's goods, then the company's water footprint should be very carefully analyzed. All opportunities to cut back on water usage should be seized, so that the corporate water strategy is equally as strong as the carbon emissions strategy.
by: Daniel Stouffer.
About the Author:
Daniel Stouffer has a lot of information about your corporate water strategy and how a visit to www.verisae.com will be of use to you.