Organization: Westbank and District Chamber of Commerce
The Westbank & District Chamber of Commerce (WDCC) took a leadership role in assisting business to identify simple changes that owners can make to reduce their costs associated with their use of water. The Chamber worked in conjunction with the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and Greenstep Solutions Inc (GSI) to complete 10 water audits at various West Kelowna businesses. A comprehensive water audit report was generated and several recommendations were made to the businesses on how to reduce their water and energy consumption by purchasing various water reduction equipment or appliances. Further, the audit recorded the current estimated water and energy usage, the dollar costs associated, and the potential payback that could result from making changes based on the audit recommendations. Based on this project, the WDCC recommended that their business membership:
1) Complete an internal water audit to immediately assess possible paybacks on water and energy usage.
2) If exterior landscaping exists, suggest an external audit to recommend alternate solutions to existing irrigation lines and heads. The WDCC also recommends businesses switch from grass and high water consumptive foliage (evergreens) to xeriscape landscaping and indigenous plants hardy to drought conditions.
3) Place a sign in the bathroom and kitchen to report any leaks to managers and maintenance.
4) Create a suggestion and incentive program at your place of business to recognize water and energy saving ideas. Front line staff often identify important opportunities.
5) Publish and recognize the water usage and patterns at your business to show the difference in consumption and direction towards water usage goals.
6) Appoint a Green Leader or Green team to keep momentum and publish monthly and annual usage of water.
7) Promote your business water changes! As consumers continue to become water and green conscious, many purchase choices are now determined by businesses that have made sustainable changes at their place of work. Making a change will not only reduce your water and energy costs, but increase revenue opportunities due to consumer purchasing behaviors.