New AquaMark scheme aims to help firms cut water costs

New AquaMark scheme aims to help firms cut water costs

New AquaMark scheme aims to help UK firms cut water costs

Last month (May 22nd) saw the launch of a new national benchmarking scheme intended to help British businesses better understand how they consume water, identifying opportunities to improve efficiency and save money.

Called AquaMark, the multi million-pound project - which is fully grant-funded and represents a three-year undertaking - is the brainchild of Buckinghamshire-based water and energy efficiency consultancy ADSM, and has the support of the water industry, regulatory body Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the University of Oxford, among others.

Using a combination of water-billing data provided by partner organisations and publicly available information from sources as varied as Ofsted and Tripadvisor, it will result in the creation of over 500 free benchmarks for different property types and industries, Edie.net reports.

It is hoped that these will assist UK firms of all sizes and sectors in cutting their water costs, delivering an estimated average efficiency gain of 30 per cent and helping some businesses regain as much as £500 million in lost annual revenue.

The AquaMark project is not without antecedent. It follows the Watermark benchmarking scheme, set up by ADSM on behalf of the government in 2002, which ultimately contributed to the delivery of the current UK water efficiency targets by collating typical usage and best practice data for the public sector.

However, AquaMark will leverage newer technology, a larger sample base and account for recent trends in building to "put Britain firmly at the forefront of commercial water benchmarking", according to ADSM.

Speaking at the launch, the consultancy's founder and director Patrick McCart said: "There exists a real opportunity for UK organisations, both large and small, to participate in this ground-breaking research project. Britain is set to become the global advisor on sustainable water supplies for commercial users."

He added: "The recent events experienced in California and São Paulo have highlighted how essential it is that businesses and organisations are supported with all the necessary tools to combat water scarcity."

Sian McCart, ADSM's head of corporate communications, explained to delegates that a majority of organisations today know how much water they are using, but not "how they are actually performing in terms of water efficiency and therefore how much they could save".

There's a need for a wide-ranging, more detailed and robust benchmark for non-domestic properties to help us drive down water use in the UK," she said. "This is exactly what we're aiming to address."

Water is a vital resource for many businesses, including manufacturing and chemical plants, meaning that shortages can have an immediate impact on productivity, profitability and growth.

However, all firms need to provide their staff with kitchen and bathroom facilities, which can also be a source of water inefficiencies. Read our recent blog, 5 employee habits making your business less green, to learn more.


Posted by William Rodriguez