Innovation: how thinking differently is helping deliver significant savings for organisations of all sizes

By Barry McGovaney, Technology and Innovation Manager, Water Plus

What is innovation? For many people, innovation is seen as new ideas and thinking “outside the box”. For others, it’s concepts and approaches that haven’t been done before or creations and inventions that haven’t been seen before - that will change the way we do things.

Innovation can be all these things and it’s fairly subjective. At Water Plus, we’re constantly on the go and looking ahead to see how we can help customers and be more efficient at what we do. Innovation is something that we're always thinking about as we push to improve what we do - whether that's being able to complete a task, to at least the same and ideally even better quality, with less resources and in many cases reducing the impact on the environment.

In 2019, we ran a competition to look for innovators across the country. The water efficiency innovation competition was designed to increase focus and thinking around innovation and new ideas - specifically for businesses and public sector organisations. Waterwise and Business in the Community (BITC) were on the selection panel for the finalists. 

It was great to see all the innovative ideas and we look forward to seeing more in the future. 

We’ve all had to think differently in recent months - and doing this, by considering innovative approaches looking at water use and reducing water waste, quite often will have the added bonus of lowering energy and carbon at the same time.

There’s also the opportunity to reduce operating costs too, though some innovations or new approaches may mean an initial cost - the savings pay you back in a short space of time. 

In the last year, we’ve worked with a multi-site customer and completed a number of surveys looking at how they use water and energy across their estate - and we identified an opportunity for them with their heat pumps and how they could gain heat or energy from water. 

Sometimes innovation also comes from looking at something and thinking about it from a different angle. It’s about thinking how water is used, as well as how much and where this could be reduced and savings made too.

From tap aerators that use less than 0.5 litres per minute, to atmospheric water generation, there are more and more options becoming possible and accessible to organisations.

Other innovative approaches and things we’ve seen include the use of internal smart networks to sub meter sites to help understanding around the use of water.

And we'll be sharing more examples as part of our Sustain and Gain awareness campaign through social media using the hashtag #sustainfutures.

We’re continuing exploring in this area and, in the coming months, we will be looking to launch an Innovation forum, where – as a business – we will discuss available technology and how we can use this to support our customers to achieve their goals on water efficiency and the associated positive impacts this can have. ​

Find out more about the steps your organisation can take to sustain and gain here.
Looking closer at water use is worth the time - see our dive into data blog here.

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