Opportunities for SMEs to cut costs and become more sustainable in use of water as Uisce √Čireann and Small Firms Association join forces to promote Water Stewardship

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 2023 – Small and medium sized enterprises across County Clare could make big savings on their water bills and improve the sustainability of their businesses by participating in Uisce √Čireann‚Äôs world-leading water stewardship programme.

Uisce Eireann has teamed up with the Small Firms Association to promote the water stewardship programme which aims to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and provide SMEs with the necessary tools and knowledge to become water-friendly businesses. This follows a recent survey carried out on behalf of Uisce √Čireann which found that achieving cost savings and satisfying customers desires for more sustainable products and services are the most important drivers influencing SME decision-making on investment in sustainability.

By signing up for the Water Stewardship Programme, SMEs can reap a range of benefits. Firstly, this initiative will enable them to understand the significance of taking action on water and the positive impact it can have on their operations. In addition, participating businesses will benefit from enhanced reputational advantages as the programme is accepted under Bord Bia’s esteemed Origin Green Scheme. Moreover, the Water Stewardship Programme is accredited by the European Water Stewardship Standard (EWS) which further reinforces its credibility.

Cara Lloyd from the Corner Bakery in Terenure, a water champion SME, highlighted the benefits of the Water Stewardship Programme by stating, “This online course is an excellent opportunity for businesses to enhance their knowledge and make informed decisions about water conservation. The flexible nature of the course allowed me to integrate the learning process with my busy schedule. Implementing the strategies learned has resulted in significant water savings for my business.”

Elizabeth Bowen from SFA added, “We are thrilled to partner with Uisce √Čireann in promoting this programme to our members. By participating in the Water Stewardship Programme, business will gain invaluable knowledge and guidance on conducting water audits specific to their businesses. This will allow them to identify and implement water conservation and efficiency measures, resulting in cost savings and a reduced environmental impact.”

According to Christine Crawford from Uisce √Čireann, “Water is a vital resource, and it is essential for every business to recognise the need for responsible water usage. A recent survey carried out on behalf of Uisce √Čireann found that more than half of SMEs believe operating a sustainable business attracts more customers. By joining the Water Stewardship Programme for SMEs, companies can proactively contribute towards protecting the environment and conserving this precious resource, while also improving their sustainability credentials.‚ÄĚ

As part of the programme, SMEs will have access to an online self-study course, making it convenient for them to learn at their own pace from anywhere and at any time. The course consists of two modules. Module 1 focuses on improving water stewardship in business operations, while Module 2 guides participants on how to conduct a water audit.

The Water Stewardship Programme for SMEs is completely free of charge and easily accessible online. It provides a comprehensive understanding of water stewardship, informs about conducting water audits, and equips SMEs with the knowledge to save water, reduce costs, and actively contribute to tackling the climate crisis.

To learn more about the Water Stewardship Programme for SMEs, please visit water.ie/stewardship.