J Sainsbury plc : Every drop counts.
On Monday 20th February, Sainsbury’s held a Corporate Responsibility dinner which focused on the water used by their suppliers and customers.
In Sainsbury’s stores, the greatest use of water is through flushing toilets and washing hands, followed closely by consumption in both customer cafes and colleague restaurants and then through the fresh food counters and bakeries. Water is also used for cleaning and watering plants in the landscaping around the store. Larger stores with petrol stations often have car washes and although these use significant amounts of water, the good news is that it’s recycled.
Whenever Sainsbury set about challenging themselves to make a reduction, they always start by making sure they are clear on how much water is used in the first place. This is important, as to make a saving you have to start by truly measuring what you use; this is where they have focused their efforts, by installing automatic meters and closely examining billed usage on a store by store basis.
Checking their water billing against automatic metering raised significant numbers of queries and led to quite a number of leaks being identified and stopped quickly. Sainsbury have established that the cost of fitting meters has been offset by the savings they have made from eliminating leaks.
Sainsbury also installed toilets that only flush 4.5 litres of the 6 litres in a cistern and they use a unique valve system that allowed them to install hygienic urinals that literally use no water at all.