A Call for Participation and Collaboration on World Water Day

A Call for Participation and Collaboration on World Water Day

At the crossroads of all social, economic and environmental activities, fresh water is our most fundamental asset. And right now, it is under pressure.  Industrial, agricultural, domestic water requirements and usages continue to increase in an effort to keep pace with an ever-growing global population that is causing demand to grow, decade by decade.   For World Water Day, focused this year on “water and sustainable development” our group – spanning 70 countries and 5 continents –  is raising awareness about the need for politicians and individuals alike to participate in decisions to secure water resources for the future.   For our part, members of the SUEZ Environnement group are adopting innovative solutions – to prove that it is possible to build a society capable of generating and regenerating resources essential to its future. Furthermore, we have set a priority to facilitate access, while working to protect the resource.   On a global scale, access to water and sanitation remains a crucial issue of immediate concern in many countries. According to data from the WHO, 780 million people around the world still lack access to safe drinking water, while 2.6 billion people do not have access to sanitation services.   Rising to the challenge, we are implementing solutions to secure the right to water while meeting challenges such as access to water, protecting resources and socially inclusive water pricing.  In fact, since 2000, SUEZ Environnement solutions in emerging countries have made it possible to connect 14.1 million people to drinking water services and 7.1 million people to sanitation services.   In India for instance, water consumption is expected to double...
United Water continues to work towards ambitious energy reduction goals

United Water continues to work towards ambitious energy reduction goals

The United Water blog sat down with our company’s Energy Manager Elizabeth Watson to learn more about the goal to reduce energy usage by an additional five percent by the end of 2016. This goal is particularly ambitious since the company has already marked significant progress in this area:  since 2009, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 16.5 % and shown a 28.5% improvement in energy efficiency. Elizabeth Watson, United Water’s first Energy Manager, has a dirty, little secret: Most clean water in this country is delivered with the help of dirty, coal-burning power plants. That’s because water requires pumping, and pumps require electricity, and almost half of U.S. electricity is produced by burning coal. Watson readily shares the secret in the hopes of pulling the plug on as much energy usage as possible. Right now, United Water uses 520 million kilowatt hours per year—enough to power 48,000 homes—to process and distribute water and wastewater. The company’s goal is to reduce energy usage five percent by the end of 2016. That’s enough energy to power 2,400 of those homes for a year. Why is United Water so invested in reducing energy? United Water cares a great deal about energy and sustainability, and we’ve done a lot over the years. We’re just stepping it up a notch. We already cut the company’s annual energy bill by $1.3 million and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 5,500 metric tons. But we still need to do more, and we are committed to make it happen to reduce energy usage by an additional five percent by the end of 2016! That is a...

Partnering to meet sustainable development goals in California

We manage water professionally – it is what we do. Many companies and cities have a component of water management in their sustainable development commitments and targets. And we frequently use our expertise to help others design and meet sustainable development goals. United Water has contributed to arid Los Angeles County’s ability to save nearly 100 billion gallons of water over the past 10 years. Through a partnership with the West Basin Municipal Water District that has been extended, we have managed and will continue to manage the largest water recycling facility in the world.  Check out this video to learn about this very cool water recycling facility and to learn about all of the beneficiaries of this project: from sea lions to oil refineries to Californians.     West Basin from United Water on...

Our Commitment to Environmental Excellence

    Sustainable development means finding ways to conserve natural resources so that we have them not just today, but tomorrow. As our water resources become more stressed and precious, it’s important to establish long-term solutions to address our water needs. That’s why at United Water we have adopted a sustainable development plan based on four priorities and 12 commitments. Our efforts started in 2005 and since then have been an integral part of our business strategy. Here is a snapshot of our priorities: Four Priorities: 1. Conserve resources and engage in a circular economy 2. Innovate to respond to environmental challenges 3. Empower our employees as actors of sustainable development 4. Build our development goals with all stakeholders Twelve Commitments 1. Reduce, reuse, recycle 2. Manage water efficiency 3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 4. Improve energy efficiency throughout all operations 5. Increase and promote renewable energy generation 6. Incorporate biodiversity into site management 7. Foster professional knowledge 8. Continuously strive to improve health and safety in the workplace 9. Commit to diversity 10. Maintain an active dialogue with our stakeholders 11. Be a key actor of local sustainable development 12. Provide regular and easily accessible information about our sustainable development activities If you want to learn more about our environmental initiatives please click...