This blog is about the role a business can play to support SDG6 clean water & sanitation. I discuss how to save water, reduce water pollution and help global communities’ access clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. In the process you will help the UN meet Sustainable Development Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation.
Sources of Water Pollution
When it comes to water, we are surrounded by it. Unfortunately most of the water is not consumable. Before we can drink it, the water must undergo a filtration process to become safe.
Agricultural activities and industrial processes account for more than 80% of water consumption and pollution. Households are equally responsible for contributing to the loss of quality water. The discharge into drains from the daily use of domestic cleaning products at home, for instance, plays a big role in polluting water.
Business as well as our personal activities mean that the water which should be drinkable is polluted daily. The most common examples of pollution to water are human and animal waste, chemicals and solid waste materials. Although we see water in abundance, it is a scarce resource.
So how can you contribute to Clean Water and Sanitation?
Local role of Business for SDG6 Clean Water & Sanitation
- Choose chemical free cleaning products. A number of eco-friendly products are now on the market. To reduce your environmental impact, speak to your cleaning contractor and switch to environmentally friendly products.
- Reduce chemical discharge to drains. The Environment Agency has set limits for emissions to drains. The limit is set to reduce water pollution. As a result businesses must keep to the limits. If your business exceeds the limit, the fines can be hefty. Contact the local Environment Agency to find out if you fall under limit restrictions.
- Keep water use low by taking measures such as shutting taps, fixing leaks, moving to water efficient equipment and using dual flush systems to save water when flushing.
- Encourage water reduction with staff. Track usage by recording meter readings and the cost on a spreadsheet. After recording the readings for a few months, use the information to set targets for reducing water usage and save money. Encourage staff to meet the targets.
- Carry out daily tips and workshops to raise awareness about the importance of conserving water. At the same time offer incentives to staff acting as your conservation champions.
- Donate money to a local water or nature conservation society to offset your usage.
Global role of Business for SDG6 Clean Water & Sanitation
- There are several charities and NGOs working to provide clean drinking water, hygiene and toilet facilities to people living in extreme poverty. People who live in rural villages are likely to be affected the most by lack of clean water and sanitation. Thus suffering higher rates of illnesses. Most importantly, women suffer the most because they are often expected to walk several miles everyday to fetch water. Support projects to improve the lives of people and communities in your supply chain. Build toilets and water wells are great example of how you can contribute to clean water and sanitation projects. You can research about them on the internet. On the other hand, contact us.
- At Smart Money Green Planet, we support community projects with funds we receive from you. Our current project called, Know Your Period Africa, will support female farmers and school girls in Rwanda. Females will benefit from access to sanitary products, information and facilities to decrease health infections and loss of time at work and school. Currently, up to 4 days per month can be lost. Thus affecting productivity and income for farmers, and education for school aged girls.
Get in touch so your business can support SDG6: clean water & sanitation projects. Similarly we can assist you to set up a project to directly impact your supply chain.
Business Benefits of Environmental and Social Projects
Supporting projects to improve the lives of other people can be very rewarding. Moreover, it is a great way to receive publicity and raise your business’ profile. Needless to say, there are also tax benefits for your business. Speak to your financial advisor or accountant about financial incentives. You could benefit from a tax break.
If you would like to receive information about Know Your Period Africa or another upcoming environmental or socially responsible project, email us for details. Products and information purchased with the funds will have your business name. We will ensure that your business receives positive publicity for the donation.
*Facts about Clean Water and Sanitation
- 1 in 4 health care facilities across the world lacks basic water services.
- 3 in 10 people do not have access to safely managed drinking water services and 6 in 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
- At least 892 million people across the world practice open defecation.
- Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80 per cent of households without access to water on premises.
- Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source has increased from 76 per cent to 90 per cent.
- More than 40 per cent of the global population is affected by water scarcity and it is projected to rise. Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge.
- 4 billion people still do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, such as toilets or latrines.
- More than 80 per cent of wastewater from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal.
- Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases that are preventable.
- Approximately 70 per cent of all water consumption from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation.
To Sum Up
Use a water calculator to understand your water usage rates and impact on the environment Business Stream Calculator. By answering a few questions you’ll get a quick understanding your business’ environmental impact.
Sustainable Development and the role of Business
Want to help achieve the SDG 2030 targets? Below are links to articles written to assist small businesses with SDG ideas:
Zero Hunger SDG 2 & BUSINESS SUPPORT