As awareness around peak water rises, business opportunities and partnerships continue to grow. GE Ecomagination developed a water treatment technology for DuPont that has resulted in an estimated $175,000 in savings. The technology reduces chloride concentration for intake cooling water, which has nearly doubled the system’s efficiency, allowing it to reduce 20% of the water used during the cooling phase.
DuPont and GE are among the plethora of large multi-national companies that have made commitments to reduce water consumption, typically fresh water consumption. GE’s commitment focuses on a 25% reduction in fresh water consumption by 2015. In comparison, DuPont’s goal is a 30% reduction of water consumption over the next 10 years specifically for sites that have a scarce or limited supply of fresh water.
Water reduction goals are in their infancy, so companies are taking a variety of strategic steps to reduce water while improving their bottom lines. The majority of strategies focus on specific percentage commitments within a reasonable time frame.
More advanced water strategies include a focus on water recycling. Coca-Cola’s program focused on clean water accessibility is another branch of the company’s efforts to promote and create sustainable water systems. After being blasted in the media for significantly contributing toward droughts and water shortages in India and beyond, the company increased efforts and transparency regarding its water strategies.
GE’s new technology can be applied to other industries, making it a strategic investment in water reduction technology. Technology, energy, and efficiency companies are framing the growing awareness surrounding fresh water scarcity as strategic business opportunities for market growth. As companies are increasingly pressured to be accountable for their organization’s water consumption and impact, they will be turning to experts in one of those fields for solutions tailored to their specific issues.
Tiffany Finley started her sustainability journey while camping in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. Since then she has been dedicated to reconciling the industrial and the natural world views to create a hybridized mode of development toward sustainability. Majoring in Environmental Management in the US and then obtaining a Master's of Science in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability in Sweden, she takes an analytical view based on science. She works with non-profits, small to medium businesses, and government organizations to strategize for sustainability in their respective sectors. Honored to join the writing cast at Triple Pundit, she looks forward to covering a wide range of sustainability news.