At next month’s Environmental Leader Conference in Denver, General Motors executive Todd Williams will discuss GM’s strategies for changing processes in order to conserve water and save money.
The senior project engineer for water and waster water treatment, Williams spent a lot of time learning how the company’s water intensive automotive production process worked before taking a step back and working to change the status quo as well as the perception within the company that water is free.
In order to make departments really understand the level (and cost) of their water usage, Williams added a portable ultrasonic flow meter to get the attention of the paint shop team. He quickly found that what workers thought was a slight increase in water flow would actually cost $300,000 a year.
By being able to share a dollar amount, Williams was able to clearly demonstrate why changes to the process needed to be made.
The process of tracking usage Williams implemented is an option that any company can embrace in order to become more sustainable. By tracking water flow, it becomes clear the level of water that is being consumed on a daily basis, therefore making the opportunities for reducing usage or finding ways to revamp the process to minimize water waste possible.
Along with General Motors, some other big companies have been making moves to reduce their water usage including Ford Motors, Kimball Office, MillerCoors, Cascade Tissue Group, and BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical companies. Through wastewater recovery and reuse, changed processes, ultrafiltration and other steps, these and other organizations are doing their best to be smart about water use.
While making similar changes may not save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars like GM, a little bit of tracking could help you better manage resources and save money.
If you are ready to start tracking your impact, let us know. We can help you establish baseline for all of your utilities and work through options for the most cost effective ways to create positive change.