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£millions drained from business by not monitoring water use

24 June 2009

UK businesses are collectively missing out on combined cost savings of as much as £10 million per day by failing to maximise the potential of water efficiency, according to an Envirowise business survey.

In a recent survey of UK businesses, almost two thirds of respondents said they do not currently measure or monitor their water use at all, and a huge 85% do not have any water reduction targets in place.However, Envirowise estimates that businesses could reduce their water bills by as much as a third if they were to take steps to manage their water use more effectively, says Claire Sweeney, Envirowise Water Specialist:

“With more than 9.8 billion cubic metres being used nationally each year , there is significant potential for businesses to save money and reduce their environmental impact by taking action on water efficiency,” advises Claire. “That is why we are encouraging companies to join Rippleffect, a national initiative offering online advice and support to cut water waste and costs.”

the survey also found that:
- 61% did not know how much their business spends on water each year
- More than half felt that there was no cost saving potential in taking action on water efficiency
- Only 2% guessed correctly that bills could be reduced by up to a third
- Money and knowledge were identified as the biggest barriers to taking action, despite free advice being available through programmes such as Envirowise

Businesses signing up to Rippleffect http://www.envirowise.gov.uk/rippleffect before 14 September will receive free support from Envirowise to better understand their water use, identify simple water saving steps and then measure the cost savings they have made.

“The Rippleffect programme is delivered in three accessible online modules over a six-month period, helping businesses to benchmark their water use, identify valuable cost savings and set targets for improvement,” continues Claire.


More than 500 UK businesses registered for the Rippleffect in 2008. New features for 2009 include water efficiency advice in areas such as rainwater harvesting, vehicle washing and boiler & cooling tower operation. Businesses interested in taking part in Rippleffect should visit http://www.envirowise.gov.uk/rippleffect or call the Envirowise Advice Line on 0800 585 794.

Envirowise is a Government-funded programme dedicated to putting the sustainable use of resources at the heart of UK business practice. Since 1994 Envirowise has helped UK businesses save over £1bn by enabling them to significantly reduce their environmental footprints. Envirowise offers businesses of all sizes and sectors a wide range of free, independent and practical advice designed to genuinely improve their processes, profitability and competitiveness. Services include:


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