Anglian Water is supporting a month-long initiative by the Environment Agency to recognise the British businesses that are helping to drive green growth during tough economic times.
With the UK’s green economy growing by £5.4 billion in 2011, numerous reports have identified a sea-change in attitudes amongst businesses towards sustainable growth.
Bob Wilson, Director of Anglian Water Business said: “All businesses should be developing a clear strategy for managing water use and disposing of wastewater, and the scarcity of water in the East of England should not be a barrier to anyone who wants to do business here.
“Our job is to work in partnership with our customers to help them understand how they can cut water use.”
Cutting water use also brings down carbon emissions as less energy is used to treat and supply it. With Cutting consumption also reduces the five per cent of UK carbon emissions caused by heating water in homes and businesses.
One example of this is the involvement Anglian Water Business has had in helping Weetabix locate and stop an underground leak at its production site and headquarters in Burton Latimer, near Kettering, Northamptonshire.
In 2010, three years into a pledge to reduce water usage by 20% by 2020, Weetabix was making good progress when it discovered an underground leak in its water supply network which was losing over 140,000 litres of water every day.
Production runs 24/7 at the site, so the first time managers noticed unusual water consumption was during the Christmas shutdown.
The company enlisted the help of Anglian Water to try to trace any leaks and an extensive survey was carried out on the 75-acre site, much of it taking place at weekends to minimise disruption and continue to meet customer orders.
A significant leak was discovered on the rising main into the canteen which left unchecked would have wasted 50 million litres of water a year and cost as much as £100,000.
Bob Wilson continued: “We looked closely at the Weetabix site, and came up with a detailed action plan where changes could be made to reduce the amount of water they used. We’ve now gone beyond this, and have developed a programme to engage all Weetabix employees in the importance of water efficiency, with the objective of permanently changing their attitude to water.
“Saving water on a scale like this not only saves money, but protects the environment as well.”
Weetabix has signed up to the Food and Drink Federation Fivefold Environment Ambition on reducing water use, demonstrating its commitment to making further significant reductions in water usage. As well as pledging to investigate opportunities to reduce effluent levels.
“Our water strategy will help improve efficiency within our production process, cut the cost of water, wastewater and associated energy, and help to meet our corporate social responsibility pledges,” said Sava Mirkovic, Environment Manager at Weetabix.
All businesses contributing to green growth are encouraged to get involved in The Environment Agency’s Greener Business Month by sharing their experiences of best practice.
Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith said. "One of the unsung successes of environmental regulation over the past 20 years is a steady progress in achieving better environmental performance from businesses of all kinds."
Three weeks of discussion will culminate in the publication of the EA’s latest Greener Business Report this Autumn, looking at the environmental performance of regulated business across England and Wales.
Anyone with an interest in greener business is encouraged to get involved by sharing their experiences, stories and advice via twitter using #greenerbusiness or on the Environment Agency’s Facebook page.