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Arjan Boogaards

Ecolab launches free online tool for water savings

DUBAI, April 3, 2019

Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, has launched a free online tool to help businesses improve their water management in the face of rising water scarcity.

According to Ecolab chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker Jr., the Smart Water Navigator has been developed to ‘help turn good intentions into action’. Based on a 13-question assessment informed by leading water stewardship experts, the Smart Water Navigator shows companies how their individual facilities are performing compared to industry-leading water management practices.

The tool places each facility on a Water Maturity Curve, generating industry and location-specific guides to help companies build sustainable, ‘water-smart’ practices. The Smart Water Navigator also includes practical steps for companies to rise up on the Water Maturity Curve.

“Using a corporate dashboard, companies can sort their facilities by geography, water-stress level and water management performance, enabling them to prioritize specific sites for investment in water-saving solutions. A benchmarking function also allows companies to assess how they rank on the Water Maturity Curve compared to industry counterparts,” explained Arjan Boogaards, Ecolab senior vice president and president, MEA.

The launch of the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator comes as the World Resources Institute forecasts that unless widespread measures are taken immediately, 33 countries globally will face extremely high water-related stress by 2040. Fourteen of the 33 countries are in the Middle East.

“We are acutely aware that water scarcity is a pressing global issue, especially here in the Middle East. In more industrially developed areas of the world, fresh water consumption is usually 60 per cent for industrial use – a major drain on limited resources,” said Boogaards.

According to the World Bank, the Middle East suffers from the scarcest water resources globally. Given that the region is at high risk due to low water resources, there is significant room for solutions that address the water challenges in the region.

“Governments throughout the region have responded with water management strategies and the corporate sector is gradually placing more value on water. For example, in 2017, the UAE unveiled the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036to ensure sustainable access to water during both normal and emergency conditions.

“Similar to governments, businesses are increasingly realizing the cost water bills can have on operations and financial performance. Many companies throughout the region are adopting water conservation policies into their business strategies. Putting corporate conservation targets in place is one thing, achieving them is quite another,” added Boogaards.

“There is a lot that companies can do with technology, but they often lack the tools and expertise. We developed the Smart Water Navigator, in collaboration with Trucost, part of S&P Global, and an advisory panel of major private sector companies, to help bridge the gap between goals and capabilities.”
Boogaards said MEA’s urgent need for water conservation is compounded by industrial growth throughout the region. “According to UN figures, industry accounts for 20 per cent (of all freshwater use globally and more than 40 per cent in more industrialized countries,” Boogaards explained.

Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab vice president of Corporate Sustainability, said transformational action is needed to ensure corporate water use is tackled at individual facility level.

“Ambitious goals are set at the corporate level but, very often, facility managers don’t have the tools, resources and incentives to meet expectations. Since 2011, overall corporate water use has only fallen by 10 percent,” he said.

“The Smart Water Navigator will help companies achieve more substantial water savings and their efforts in the vanguard of sustainability will translate into improved reputation and positive impacts on the local environment and bottom line.”

The Smart Water Navigator – which can be found at smartwaternavigator.com - can be used by companies in all sectors, whether they manage one facility or hundreds. It builds on Ecolab’s deep expertise in water management and complements the Water Risk Monetizer, the Ecolab tool which helps companies understand the real value of water – which is often significantly higher than the water bill – to their business.

In 2018, Ecolab helped customers conserve over 711 billion litres of water equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of more than 600 million people, a statement said. – TradeArabia News Service




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