Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When you think "Greening" consider "The Forgotten Factor"

I am seeing lots of articles lately about business efforts to lower energy consumption. Below is my reply to an article posted on the Green, Inc blog for the New York Times.

Across the country we are witnessing sincere efforts to reduce energy consumption from both the consumer and commercial perspective. Mr. Odeh's effort is commendable and deserves recognition.

What about "The Forgotten Factor"; the connection between improved water efficiency and the reduction in energy consumption? Studies have clearly identified this relationship. If you do even a minimal of research, the troubling truth about global fresh water supplies should put water efficiency and water conservation at the forefront of everyone's "greening" efforts. I wonder if Mr. Odeh considered the value of improving water efficiency at his restaurants. No mention therein leads me to believe this is not the case. In most business a practices “greening” is as much about improving the bottom line as as it is about lessening impacts on the environment. As consumers and businesses, our water footprint is a very significant part of our overall carbon footprint.

A Water Efficiency Assessment and ROI Analysis can easily demonstrate that even something as minimal as a plumbing fixture upgrade can produce a substantial reduction in wasted water thereby lowering utility bills, and lessening overall environmental impact. I have witnessed the results. I have seen a $70,000 investment in water efficiency improvements (toilets, showerheads, faucet aerators) at an apartment complex in Charlotte, NC resulting in a reduction in metered water expenses of greater than $10,000 per billing cycle. I am aware of similar projects taking place in Louisville, Pittsburgh, Detroit and South Florida. It makes financial sense and helps substantially lower human impacts on a natural resource that we just can not do without.

When you think "Greening" consider "The Forgotten Factor"

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