Sustain secures grant to develop UKs first water footprint database

Posted: Friday 16th November 2012

New database will allow companies to manage water-related risks in global supply chain.

Experts call for industry and Government to start measuring their water footprint

Sustain, one of the UKs leading sustainability companies, has secured funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to develop the UKs first water footprint database for materials. The database will, for the first time, allow manufacturing supply chains to measure and manage the water footprints of their global supply chains.

As water security becomes a rapidly emerging concern, large corporations and Government bodies are starting to take notice of the strategic importance of water management. Water-related incidents are on the rise and present a genuine risk to both business and society.

In 2011, the drought in Texas reportedly cost $5.2 billion dollars to the local economy and with the 2012 droughts in Spain and the USA projected to push food prices up significantly, experts at Sustain say not enough is being done to measure and manage the problem.

Dr Craig Jones, Principle Associate at Sustain and creator of the worlds leading embodied carbon (footprint) database The Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE), said: Were thrilled to have been awarded this grant in order to develop the water footprint database, we believe it will be the starting point for many businesses to begin dealing with the issues of water security.

Water footprinting is an approach that allows experts to measure and manage global water resources in a more sustainable manner. It helps to identify consumption in water scarce regions, where it will cause the largest impacts, and to increase the visibility of water related risks within supply chains.

Dr Jones added: This database will be key in the development of successful water management strategies for businesses and Government bodies alike. To date, not enough is being done and this database will show companies where the risks lie within their supply chains, in order to manage the problem more efficiently.

Sustain began work on the development of the database in October which, when completed, could be applied to any supply chain to manage water-related risks.

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