Many of Ireland’s leading businesses are recognising the importance of safeguarding our precious water resources and the benefits this brings to the environment as well as their bottom line. 

This week, an additional 22 companies are taking their first steps towards becoming leaders in sustainable water use as they embark on a Certified Water Stewardship course in partnership with Irish Water and the Lean & Green Skillnet. Participating business represent a wide range of sectors, and include Irish Rail, Aramark, The Joe Duffy Group, Bank of Ireland, ARUP and the Killarney Park Hotel. They will join approximately 450 organisations from all over Ireland who have already completed the programme and are seeing real benefits from more sustainable water practices.

The eight week programme is an international best practice certification which will equip businesses with the knowledge and tools to lower water consumption and reduce operating costs while protecting the environment. Small changes such as identifying water wastage on site, setting a baseline for water use, raising awareness amongst staff and customers, or upgrading to water efficient devices can help to save water and money, while also enhancing an organisation’s overall sustainability and reputation.

Christine Crawford, Irish Water’s Business Stakeholder Manager, said: “Water is a critically important resource, fundamental to both homes and businesses. But it is also a limited resource with water shortages becoming a global reality. We see the impacts of climate change abroad and more recently in Ireland with periods of drought impacting on how we value and manage our water. Water conservation and water stewardship is becoming as important as reducing our energy use and moving to more sustainable practices.

“Irish Water is working in partnership with businesses to safeguard our water supply now and into the future and has developed the Irish Water Certified Water Stewardship Programme to provide water stewardship training for business customers. To date over 450 organisations have completed the Certified Water Stewardship Programme, including sectoral leaders such as Dalata Hotel Group, Intel and Dublin Airport Authority (daa). Conserving water not only helps protect your local supply – it can also protect the environment, boost your reputation, and reduce your bills.”

Mick Goodman, Utilities Infrastructure Manager at daa, the operators of Dublin Airport, is a graduate of the water stewardship programme. 

“We are introducing sustainable water initiatives across the Airport Campus to deliver benefits for our passengers and to our local communities and increase efficiencies on campus. Water is one of the priority areas in our sustainable strategy, and we are striving to minimise the impact of Dublin Airport on this vital resource. Completing the Certified Water Stewardship Programme has allowed me to be more effective in my role to deliver water use reduction and support our ambitions to become a more sustainable company,” he said. 

The programme is an international best practice certification, accredited by the European Water Stewardship Standard (EWS). The initiative is being implemented with the endorsement of key business stakeholder groups. 

The programme includes the business case for taking action on water stewardship, water mapping of a business site, water saving opportunities and how to develop a strategy and agreed action plan.

The launch of the Certified Water Stewardship Programme is the final step of three steps Irish Water has developed to support all types of businesses move to sustainable water management. We are delighted to see businesses take the first step in taking the Water Conservation Pledge and following on with our free Online Water Conservation Training and finally enrolling and becoming a Certified Water Steward.

Businesses can find out more information on the Water Conservation for Business Hub at www.water.ie