17Dec/15

Do customers care about sustainability when they travel? asks Claire Yeates, Director at Waterscan

I was asked to be part of a panel discussion at the World Travel Market (WTM) event which took place at London’s Excel recently. The topic was: ‘Should the hospitality industry be communicating sustainability to its customers?’ and I was joined by Helena Egan, Global Director of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor, and Gavin Sanders, Radisson Blu Edwardian’s General Manager, in what proved to be a lively debate expertly chaired by Siobhan O’Neill, Editor of Green Hotelier.WTM image

Some years ago when we first started seeing little ‘tent cards’ in hotel bedrooms and bathrooms asking us to consider our environmental footprint by making an active choice about whether we really needed our towels and bed linen washed and changed each day, they stopped and made us think.  It was new.  Hmmm – surely it’s down to the hotel to make the right decision isn’t it? Why are you asking for my input?

Years on, all that has changed.  Consumer input and opinion has become the cornerstone of travel. Whether for business or pleasure, most of us wouldn’t dream of making a booking without analysing reviews on TripAdvisor and garnering the feedback of others.

At the same time, those little tent cards which demanded attention because they were so new have become so commonplace that most people don’t even bother to read them anymore.  But that’s because most people don’t need to.  Consumer behaviour has changed, with most of us not dreaming of having our towels changed on a daily basis, knowing that our choice as individuals is important and that we can each play our part.  It’s a step in the right direction.

TRIP ADVISOR GREEN LEADERS LOGOI was really interested in Jenny Rushmore’s presentation at the WTM.  As Director of TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, she works to promote sustainable travel practices and has a unique insight into how guests react to sustainability initiatives in hotels.  Her detailed research revealed that consumers only notice a limited set of sustainable activities, but they do feel positively about them, and those that are interactive are most noticed.

TripAdvisor reviews which mention green practices are usually related to specific and highly visible attributes like recycling and towel/linen re-use, says Jenny. Other ‘green’ initiatives like lightbulbs, toiletries, landscaping, renewable energy and opt-out housekeeping rarely get a mention. These are more ‘behind the scenes’ and consumers aren’t able to make an impact here, so it’s clear that visibility does matter.

It should follow then, that, if visibility matters, so too should communication. So how do we create the necessary consumer interest and engagement to build foundations for the next level of behaviour change?

There’s general agreement too that when it comes to water, it’s even more difficult because water consumption is intrinsically linked to the customer experience. No-one wants to spend their hard-earned salary on a hotly anticipated holiday in a luxury five star resort to be told ‘please only shower for 3 minutes’ and ‘please don’t think about having clean sheets tonight’!  This conflict between the desired customer experience and desired customer behaviour is the challenge that needs to be addressed in my opinion.

My solution? Well, as with many sustainability matters, it goes back to the old adage: ‘think globally, act locally’.

Whilst there are many consumers who interact with hotels and leisure facilities for pleasure, there are also many who use them for business. Going on holiday to Cornwall with the kids?  I’d wager that bathtime for a family of five isn’t going to be the best opportunity to drive water reduction strategies.   Shooting up to Birmingham straight from the office to head to an industry event after a quick shower and turnaround? Yes!!

I believe it all comes down to quality data – a detailed look at location, demographics and typical usage.  By thoroughly analysing guest behaviour on a location-by-location, or even region-by-region level, it’s possible to refine a water sustainability strategy without negatively impacting the guest experience.

Greywater-diagram1-1024x970All of this is important because water is increasingly recognised by consumers as the next big global environmental challenge, and because, typically, hotels have a larger environmental impact than similarly sized non-hotel buildings.  I say ‘typically’ because we have been working with Whitbread to create an altogether different model.  Through detailed consultancy and the implementation of greywater recycling during the build process, we have helped the company work towards its water reduction goals by creating an industry first.  We will be revealing new developments on this shortly, so I won’t go into it here but we are proud of being a part of this major step forward for the travel sector.

Meanwhile, to conclude, I feel strongly that it is important to communicate sustainability to consumers within the travel sector.  But let’s start the consumer engagement process with a well thought through strategy.  Let’s do it with data, insight and brand-relevant tactics that help add value to the consumer experience rather than detracting from it.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic for ‘water use’ to be one of those most noticed and most commented sustainability activities that get positive reviews on TripAdvisor?

04Nov/15

Water market reform: Testing the water for April 2017

Negotiating price and demanding better service is a basic right of consumers, a right that hasn’t historically been available to water users.  Since market opening in Scotland in 2008, and the introduction of new legislation into the Water Act in 2014, this has now changed with water market reform.

 

Organisations are already able to negotiate and switch water supplier for sites in Scotland, with the English market becoming fully open to competition by April 2017.  With this date fast approaching, companies are realising the benefits of utilising Scotland as preparation for competition in England by going through a process of water supply procurement.  However, water poses many complexities, misleading offers and unclear information.  Utilising a provider with many years of experience and knowledge of water company pricing structures is a sure way to get the best deal for your organisation, just as Tesco recently did by partnering with Waterscan.

tesco extra Glasgow Silverburnv2

 

 

Catherine Chebib, Buying Manager – Renewable Energy & Environmental Generation Technologies, said “Through working with Waterscan on our Scottish water supply tender, we have secured the best deal possible whilst ensuring all our key supply criteria have been satisfied.  They tailored their tendering process to fit existing Tesco procurement practices ensuring it integrated smoothly with our usual systems.

 

Waterscan supported with the review of received bids, utilising their water company charging structure knowledge and expertise in the retail industry to assist with short-listing and the final selection of supplier.  Their approach was comprehensive and professionally independent, with Tesco’s best interests at the core of their work. We would have no hesitation in recommending Waterscan’s services for water procurement and look forward to working with them again when the competitive market opens in England in 2017.”

15Sep/15

Act now for 2017

Not sure if you’re ready for 2017? Arrange a no obligation discussion with one of our team to assess your situation and Act Now, including:

  • The latest developments on water market opening and how they affect your business
  • Guidance on what needs to be done to maximise opportunities now and in 2017
  • Develop a plan of action to start the process of market opening preparation

water market reform

To ‘act now’ on preparing for April 2017, simply contact us on the below and one of our team will be in touch to offer some free advice. Alternatively, email rachael.yearley@waterscan.com or call 01243 839880.

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Smart businesses have already begun preparations; working with the likes of Sainsbury’s, Spirit Pub Company, Tesco and Lafarge Tarmac on market opening ensures Waterscan has the experience to support you.

30Jun/15

Grey Water Recycling: Going Green to Save Your Business

When the chair of a company like Nestle tells a newspaper like the Financial Times that the looming international water crisis is ‘much more urgent than climate change,’ it’s time to sit up and take notice. After all, these are highly regarded institutions that are hardly renowned for buying into the hysteria of environmental fringe groups. The reality is, the British economy is going to be hit hard by this looming crisis, and it’s those businesses that start using water-recycling methods now that are most likely to survive in the long run. For larger business, grey water recycling is the most effective method of sustainably harvesting this natural resource. As you’ll see, grey water recycling is also as simple as it is effective.

grey water recyclingBuilt for Big Business

Grey water recycling is perfect if you’re operating a large business, as the large number of people associated with such businesses will be using a lot of the water that you’ll recycle. If you’re the landlord of a large residential block or are running a hotel, leisure centre or large office block, you’ll get the most out of grey water recycling.

How It Worksgrey water recycling

Grey water recycling takes the water used in baths and showers for other purposes such as flushing toilets and irrigating gardens. It does this by collecting the water in an aeration tank that encourages the natural cleansing of biodegradable particles. An ultra-filtration system catches the remaining particles and sends the clean water into a separate tank. This clean water is then pumped to a water management system and onto its final destination.

How You Save Money

The immediate way you save money is by reducing your water consumption by up to 40%, which can be a staggering sum if you’re running a multi-storey operation. More importantly, ROI on a good grey water recycling system, such as those approved by Waterscan, can be achieved in as little as 2.5 years. This is due to the low energy output of the grey water recycling system itself, which currently sits at 2KwH per m³ or £0.24 per m³ in financial terms.

grey water recycling Eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs)

Waterscan’s approved grey water recycling equipment is on the Government’s Water Technology List. The associated ECAs allow you to claim 100% of your first year capital gains allowances on your grey water recycling system. Ultimately, this means you can write of the entire investment against taxable profits during the period in which you make your investment in a grey water recycling system.

Being environmentally conscientious is a matter of survival that also reaps dividends in the short term. Waterscan have been roundly applauded by such Government bodies as DEFRA and are therefore the strategic water management partner you should consider to ensure you have a sustainable business in the future.

22Jun/15

Rainwater Harvesting: Harnessing Nature for a Sustainable Future

If peak oil was the cry of environmentalists throughout the 2000s, peak water will become the cry of the last half of the 2010s. While it seems unthinkable that Britain could run out of water, the fact is that much of what is produced in the UK requires inordinate amounts of it. However, it’s not only industry that’s diminishing Britain’s water supply. Global warming is also having an impact, as is the population boom. With Britain’s crop production and agricultural economy facing the potential of catastrophic failure, the time is now for businesses to seek sustainable water solutions. This is where rainwater harvesting comes in.

How Rainwater Harvesting Works rainwater harvesting

Incredibly, the process of rainwater harvesting is so simple, it’s amazing Britain hasn’t been doing so for decades. Rain collects on the roof, travels down a pipe, and passes through a filter. This filter ensures no large particles of debris make it to the central part of the tank. Once filtered, the clean water enters an inlet where the flow is calmed to prevent further debris from being distributed. As the tank fills, a floating extraction system pumps the cleanest filtered water back into your building for non-potable use.

Conserving Energy in Multiple Ways

One of the most impressive features of a high quality rainwater harvesting system is that it costs very little to run. The best systems operate a dual pump, generating 20% less energy than inferior rainwater harvesting systems. At the same time, your rainwater harvesting system can save your business up to 75% on its potable water bills, if employed as part of an overall water management project. Mains water consumption may also be reduced by up to 30%.

Intelligent Monitoring

It’s nice to see how much water and money you’re saving while you’re looking after the planet, and rainwater harvesting systems come complete with a remote monitoring system. This means you can check your water consumption at any time and pay attention to any sudden spikes in water usage. You’ll also be the first to know if there is a fault with your rainwater harvesting system, as it comes with alarms that will alert you if any part of the system fails or even if it needs a clean. In any case, you’ll never run out of water as your rainwater harvesting system will automatically switch to your mains supply if the water level gets too low. In essence you’ll be guaranteed good quality water without fail.

Eco-Friendly on the Outsiderainwater harvesting

Impressively, it’s not only the internal working of the best rainwater harvesting systems that are kind to the environment, but their cladding and installation. The tanks are steel reinforced and custom-built for each installation. This makes them chemical resistant and extremely durable. Rotatable drainage turrets and ducting connections keep weight light, allowing for quick and easy installation. This results in a tank that requires 25 times less concrete than standard tanks, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint from the outset.

Looking After Your Wallet While Looking After the Environmentrainwater harvesting

If you think looking after the environment comes at a price, you’ll be surprised at how profitable your rainwater harvesting system will become. Purchasing a WaterManager rainwater harvesting system from Waterscan will immediately entitle you to Enhanced Capital Allowances through DEFRA. Combine these tax breaks with the reduction in water bills mentioned above, and wrap these up with an impressive ROI on the system itself, and you’ll be looking after the planet while you laugh your way to the bank.

As Britain heads toward a future defined by water shortages, it’s the businesses that become sustainable now that will benefit in the future. A rainwater harvesting system is simple, efficient, financially prudent, and futureproofed. It’s highly likely more companies will be using them as time goes on. Getting in on the ground floor would be a very wise move indeed.

02Jun/15

Modern Water Management Systems

As water becomes increasingly scarce and more precious, it’s nice to know there are enterprising, ecologically aware businesses offering the latest in greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting systems. Water sustainability is something everybody will need to look into sooner or later, so there’s no better time than now to familiarise yourself with how these systems work.

How Much Water Is Your Business Wasting? water management

Before looking at water management systems, it’s best to look at your current water management. Start with a professional water audit, whereby qualified technicians will inform you of how much water you’re using and where it is being discharged. You may have a leak you’re unaware of, faulty equipment, or unjustified water expenses from your supplier. Even if you have none of these things, you can still save a lot of money with a water management system.

Do You Have A Water Strategy?

All good businesses have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets, but many are unsure how to add water management to the equation. A good water strategy should assess financial, operational, reputational, and regulatory risks and offer water management solutions to suit. There are some practical tools that can be implemented, and experts who know how to use them. If you’re conducting a review of your CSR targets, you’re doing your business a disservice by not looking at water management.

Could You Need a Rainwater Harvesting System?

water management This naturally depends on the nature of your business, but with potential savings of 75% on potable water bills and opportunities to reduce mains water consumption by 30%, it’s worth thinking about. Rainwater harvesting systems take rainwater from the roof of your building, filter it, house it in storage tanks, and redirect it for uses such as flushing toilets, running cooling systems, irrigating land, and numerous other solutions. The storage tanks require less concrete upon installation, are largely self-cleaning, use very little energy, and offer a speedy return on investment (ROI).

 

Could You Need a Greywater Recycling System?

If you run a large complex such as a hotel or leisure centre the answer is probably yes. These systems reduce mains water consumption by as much as 40%. Greywater recycling systems take water from showers and baths which is subject to natural aeration and a filtration membrane to remove biodegradable particles, before the clean, green water is repurposed for laundry facilities, toilets, and similar applications. The entire system can be managed remotely and ROI can be achieved in 2.5 years.

Contact Waterscan Today for any queries surrounding water management.

20May/15

Modern Water Management Systems

As the planet gets drier, and water becomes precious, it’s nice to know there are enterprising, ecologically aware businesses offering the latest in greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting systems. Water sustainability is something everybody will need to look into sooner or later, so there’s no better time than now to familiarise yourself with how these systems work.

water management

How Much Water Is Your Business Wasting?

Before looking at water management systems, it’s best to look at your current water management. Start with a professional water audit, whereby qualified technicians will inform you of how much water you’re using and where it is being discharged. You may have a leak you’re unaware of, faulty equipment, or unjustified water expenses from your supplier. Even if you have none of these things, you can still save a lot of money with a water management system.

Do You Have A Water Strategy?

All good businesses have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets, but many are unsure how to add water management to the equation. A good water strategy should assess financial, operational, reputational, and regulatory risks and

offer water management solutions to suit. There are some practical tools that can be implemented, and experts who know how to use them. If you’re conducting a review of your CSR targets, you’re doing your business a disservice by not looking at water management.

Could You Need a Rainwater Harvesting System?

water management

This naturally depends on the nature of your business, but with potential savings of 75% on potable water bills and opportunities to reduce mains water consumption by 30%, it’s worth thinking about. Rainwater harvesting systems take rainwater from the roof of you

r building, filter it, house it in storage tanks, and redirect it for uses such as flushing toilets, running cooling systems, irrigating land, and num

erous other solutions. The storage tanks require less concrete upon installation, are largely self-cleaning, use very little energy, and offer a speedy return on investment (ROI).

Could You Need a Greywater Recycling System?

If you run a large complex such as a hotel, leisure centre, office building, or residential block the answer is probably yes. These systems reduce mains water consumption by as much as 40%, while only costing £0.24 to run per m³. As well as incorporating rainwater harvesting system, greywater recycling systems takes water from showers and baths. This water is subject to natural aeration and a membrane to remove biodegradable particles, before the clean, green water is repurposed for laundry facilities, toilets, and similar applications. The entire system can be managed remotely and ROI can be achieved in 2.5 years.

04May/15

Versatile Greywater Recycling Systems

We may be the blue planet, but according to the UN we’re running out of fresh water quickly. The average Briton uses 3,400 litres of water every day, and most of this comes from commercial enterprises. When global fresh water runs out, Britain will need to rethink the way it uses water, mostly because we will need to make up for the 40% of food we import. Wise businesses are addressing the problem now with rainwater recycling and greywater recycling systems. Let’s take a closer look at how greywater recycling works.

Businesses That Benefit From Greywater Recycling

greywater recycling

In a nutshell, greywater recycling uses water that is flushed from basins, baths and showers for purposes such as irrigating gardens, doing laundry, and flushing toilets. This makes greywater recycling the perfect solution for hotels, leisure centres, large residential blocks, and office buildings. Simply put, if you have a building where a lot of people gather, greywater recycling is the solution for you. Given that you’ll save up to 40% on water consumption, you’ll not only be helping the planet but saving a lot of money.

How the System Works

Water flows from your building’s showers and baths into an aeration tank. The aeration of the water helps biodegradable particles cleanse naturally, before the water is transferred into a filtration tank. This tank contains an ultra-filtration membrane that removes any remaining particles, and the freshly filtered water then travels to a clear water holding tank. A pump then sends this water onto its final destination via a water management system. Better still, the system is chemical free and self-cleaning.

How Your Business Benefits

greywater recycling

Apart from an impressive ROI of up to 2.5 years, greywater recycling is energy efficient in itself at 1.5kWh per m³. These financial savings are added to the goodwill generated amongst a public who are more environmentally conscious than ever before. When combined, these factors can add a lot to your bottom line. Don’t forget you can also claim 100% back on your first year capital allowances simply by investing in a greywater recycling system.

Easy Monitoring

Chances are you’re busy enough without needing to worry about your greywater recycling system. Thankfully, the system is monitored and so you can compare data on the volumes of greywater and mains water you’re using. Cost benefits are also monitored, including factors such as system performance.

To find our more about our greywater recycling systems, contact Waterscan today.

20Apr/15

Managing Water Usage: Sustainability Starts With You

When it comes to managing your business’s water usage the hard part is knowing where to start. Thankfully, there are businesses that can help you put a strategy in place that will help to reduce your water bills, meet reduction targets, grow your green credentials, and adapt sustainably to a world where water shortages are the norm. Here are some of the ways you can work with these businesses to reduce your bottom line now and survive in the future.

Water Audits

manage water usage

Planning a water management strategy for the future requires knowledge of your past and present water usage. Historical water audits look outside the assumption that the only way to manage water is to reduce consumption. While consumption needs to be addressed, historical water audits look at billing anomalies, charges for fixed services and drainage, and trade effluent consents. The audit will also ensure you’re using the correct water meter while investigating the possibility of leaks or shared water supply. Problems can often be addressed immediately and solutions suggested to achieve maximum water efficiency. An impressive one in three businesses saves between 10-45% annually based on the results of their historical water audit.

Automated Meter Reading

This is a vital tool for effective water management and the savings can be impressive. Strategic points are located on-site and data loggers take meter readings, monitor water consumption and feed that information into an online water management system. This results in immediate leak detection and the identification of water usage anomalies. This information can then be broken down to identify anomalies and leaks by building, department, tenant, or time period. The ROI on an automated meter reading service is typically within 12 months and the positive impact on your water usage and bottom line can be remarkable.

Rainwater Harvesting

manage water usage

Once historical and present data has been analysed, the next step is to find a future-proofed solution. Rainwater harvesting captures and filters rainwater, and redirects it toward numerous areas such as toilets, irrigation systems, and refrigeration units. When applied as part of a broader water management strategy, rainwater harvesting can reduce mains water consumption by up to 30% and save you up to 75% on potable water bills.

Greywater Recycling

For businesses such as hotels, large offices, and residential blocks, greywater recycling is a low energy, high performance option that can see you reduce water consumption by up to 40%. Greywater recycling filters and repurposes wastewater from baths and showers for use in areas such as irrigation systems and toilet flushing. ROI is often achieved in 2.5 years.

13Mar/15

Save The Planet While Saving Money: Greywater Recycling Does Both

greywater recycling system

It’s great to live in an ecologically aware age, albeit it one created out of necessity. However, it’s important that green technology has a prudent component. Greywater recycling saves money in a way that will protect your bottom line and keep things greener for longer.

Reduced Water Consumption

The most obvious way greywater recycling saves money is by reducing your water consumption by up to 40%. This is done by taking the water you use from showering or bathing, cleaning and filtering it, and reusing it for non-potable purposes such as flushing toilets. It’s simple, effective, and an amazing way to save money.

Energy Efficiency

There’s no point investing in a greywater recycling system if the system itself is expensive to run. The most energy efficient greywater recycling systems only use approximately 2kwh per m3, which equates to about £0.24 per m³.

Chemical Free

Bubbles in the aeration process of greywater recycling continuously keep filters and membranes clean. This means you’ll only need to chemically clean the system approximately once per year at most. Not only does this minimise the chemicals you’ll put into the system, it saves money and time spent purchasing them.

Low Maintenance Costs

A combination of laser-welding to keep the filters secure combined with a clean-water backwash naturally reduces day-to-day wear and maintenance requirements. Add this to a serviceable life of up to 10 years for the filtration membrane, and the financial benefits become immediately apparent.

Capital Savings Through the ECA Programme

The Government’s goal to meet the EU’s binding energy targets means greywater recycling is eligible for the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. This allows you to claim 100% on your first year’s capital allowance on your greywater recycling investment. Moreover, some greywater recycling equipment is on the Government’s Water Technology List. Choosing a greywater recycling system from this list allows you to write off the complete cost of your investment against any taxable profits made for the investment’s duration.

greywater recycling system

Monitoring Your Investment

As with any investment, you need accurate data. The best greywater recycling systems will show you the volumes of greywater you’re using as well as your use of mains water. You’ll also be able to see how the system is performing and will receive immediate notification if maintenance is required. Most importantly, a cost benefit analysis will be at your fingertips.

Your ROI

In some cases, your Return on Investment (ROI) for a greywater recycling system can be as little as 2.5 years. Given the money you’ll save after that, you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest sooner.