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Report: How the Biggest Companies Score on Water Sustainability


By Ryan Berlin Energy Efficiency

As several regions of the United States face water shortages, It’s important now more than ever for maintenance and engineering managers to implement strategies and tactics that help conserve and curtail water usage throughout their commercial and institutional facilities.

The risks from water insecurity span the globe and have deep economic impacts, as many in the business sector have come to understand. Without water to cool data centers, the servers that power our smartphones and computers won’t run.

Some companies are catching on. According to an article from News Deeply, more than half of the largest U.S. corporations now actively manage their water use and water resources. In a recent Ceres analysis of more than 600 publicly traded U.S.companies that represent 80 percent of the country’s market capitalization, 55 percent of the companies have at least general commitments to manage water resources through efforts such as water use efficiency.

Learn: How to Assess Facility Water Waste

On the flip side, 45 percent of the assessed companies do not disclose any evidence that they manage water-related impacts in any formal way. And only 20 percent of the 600 have set time-bound, quantitative targets to manage impacts to water resources.

The Coca-Cola Company, which operates several facilities in California and in numerous locations the world over, had global social impacts on water in mind when it launched a massive watershed-restoration program, promising to replenish the equivalent amount of water it uses in its products back into watersheds or community water systems. It achieved that goal in 2016 ahead of schedule.

Tips: Managers Offer Insights and Strategies for Water Conservation

The good news in the 2018 findings of this reports is that more and more companies understand the business imperative of addressing sustainability risks generally. Companies not only need to understand their water impacts but to develop and prioritize water stewardship plans to help solve local needs throughout their value chain.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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