We all know by now how important it is to start living and working more sustainably in order to help protect the planet and ensure that the world’s natural resources aren’t put under too much pressure – so it’s always heartening to hear stories of big businesses making strides in this regard.
HMRC has just published its Sustainability Report for 2019/2020, revealing that that it has been a top performer when measured against the Greening Government Commitments – and it has also just committed to becoming net zero carbon by 2040, one of the government’s most ambitious goals.
Where water is concerned, the organisation has successfully achieved its efficiency target of below 7m3/full time equivalent (FTE), with a 46 per cent reduction representing a saving of over 437 million litres of water – which is enough to fill 175 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Between 2009 and 2020, water efficiency improvements were made from 13.17 cubic metres per FTE to 6.7 cubic metres, achieved through a reduction in estate size, prompt water leak repairs and the introduction of water efficiency measures, such as replacing old plants with more efficient equipment.
Water consumption also dropped from 540,000 cubic metres between 2018/2019 to 524,000 cubic metres in 2019/2020.
Director of communications and sustainability champion Poli Stuart-Lacey observed in the foreword to the report that the organisation’s sustainability work goes beyond its environmental targets and it has also been engaging with communities, building closer ties to ensure that its services reach those who need them the most.
She added: “While these are really positive changes which signal a gradual shift in behaviour, the impact of covid-19 has had an immediate and huge impact on the way we have all worked and travelled since March.
“With only a few days of early lockdown falling into this reporting period, the impact from covid-19 won’t be reflected in these figures, and we’ll need to wait until next year’s report to see the true extent of the changes brought about by the pandemic.”
If you’re inspired by how green HMRC is becoming to take similar strides in this regard, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a lot you can do as a business to start being more sustainable… and given the pressures that our water resources are now facing, this could well be an excellent place to begin.
To make an immediate impact, why not prioritise water leak detection and repairs? You may well have leaks on your site that you don’t know about and this could be wasting huge amounts of water, as well as costing you money in elevated bills and even potentially damaging your site through water damage.