Water harvesting the next big thing

Increasingly, different sectors are pointing to water sustainability as the next big challenge, just as important as carbon. It’s an issue with a direct bearing on Tubosider, as we provide not only stormwater management but also rainwater harvesting systems. See our case study download on Liverpool’s Paradise Project,for example.

Among the latest to speak up for sustainability are Amanda Long, former Head of Corporate Responsibility at Anglian Water and currently chief executive at Corporate Culture, and B&Q’s environmental affairs manager Ben Earl. Sustainable stewardship is no longer just a ‘nice to have’, insisted Amanda Long to the Chartered Instutute of Marketing.

“Take our average morning usage – adding up both the water we use, and the water used in manufacturing the products we use, in the first 15 minutes of every day we each have a global water footprint of 10,000 litres.

“It is clear that thinking about water isn’t ‘wet’ but is in fact imperative from a financial and a marketing perspective, not to mention an environmental one. Imagine if we could do with water what has been done with recycling where a major social marketing programme has had a meaningful impact not just on the environment, but also on society as a whole.”

Meanwhile, Ben Earl has told delegates at a trade conference that for the DIY giant, water sustainability has reached the same point that timber sustainability had twenty years ago.

“Timber was a challenge; it took a long time to reach the standards we aspired to. We are now in the early stages of a similar challenge with water. Products that use or supply water will have to have water efficiency built in, and because the consumer demands that there is no discernible user difference between the water hungry products they currently enjoy and the new water efficient ones, it is up to the industry to innovate.

“B&Q’s social responsibility is ingrained in its DNA, and water saving is part of that now and will continue to be. With energy efficiency labelling, B&Q has committed to supplying products only with an A rating. It is too soon to commit to benchmarks in the water efficiency of the products we will sell, but the long-term goal is to achieve reduced water usage.”