Managing water in your operations

Efficient use of water on-site harnesses the quality of water, reduces environmental impact, lowers costs and leads to improved compliance.

  1. Know your water sources for each operating site, the volume used and associated costs. Identify which other users you share your water resources with to help manage risk during times of scarcity.

  2. Map your water use on-site and prepare a water mass balance, which will assess the flow of water through your plant along with effluent discharge points.

  3. Apply sustainable sourcing principles to your procurement practices, using established supplier and international standards, to reduce the impact of your company's water use (including the water that is embedded in products).

  4. Identify reduction opportunities and associated cost savings, and set targets in order to deliver continuous improvement.

  5. Implement an effective environmental management system such as ISO 14001, or use the Environment Agency's environmental management system (EMS) toolkit, both of which will also improve your compliance and relations with the regulators.

  6. Engage employees in water reduction initiatives.

  7. Investigate and share knowledge of new technologies to enable water to be recycled either on-site for non direct food contact operations or for use by third parties to assist in the management of water demand.

  8. Investigate government financial incentives to improve water efficiency.

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Last reviewed: 01 Dec 2011