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Opinion: Water, water everywhere – but for how much longer?

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Meiko is advising that water usage reduction in kitchens is everyone’s problem.

Paul Anderson, MD of warewasher manufacturer Meiko UK, wants to ‘get right up noses’ and pre-empt a water disaster:

Water is often taken for granted in the UK. We think we have enough rain so there can’t be a problem can there? But this is just not the case. We are short of water and this is only getting worse.

There will be shortages unless we start using water more wisely, so don’t you think we need to agitate and get right up people’s noses to make sustainability the status quo?

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To highlight the issues, Meiko UK sponsored the Footprint Intelligence report, ‘Why care about water: a guide to responsible water use in foodservice’.

This report clearly shows the need for the foodservice industry to change and provides some small steps that we can all take to make a difference. If you are doing it at home, then you should be at work.

Water costs can be between 1-2% of a UK-based company’s turnover, according to Business in the Community. Do you see a future where your company’s expansion could be limited due to lack of water at the intended site; or due to lack of product to sell, because the grower can’t irrigate enough?

This report provides a best practice guide for foodservice operators who wish to improve their water management. It sets out the business case and ethical case for responsible water management. And it provides a guide to implementing responsible practices in foodservice kitchens.

At the core of change will be the catering equipment distributor, for they have the biggest influence over a huge swathe of our industry as they specify, install and refurb kitchens.

Sustainability is inclusive and a great motivator. Whether you are a manufacturer, equipment distributor or caterer, if this report gives you enthusiasm and in turn stimulates your team, then that is a great first step. That is why I am so proud to be part of this fantastic project and the start of a change in the way the foodservice sector looks at water usage.

Responsible use makes for good business sense. For warewasher manufacturers – and we have included comments from major European ones here – it’s about cleaner solutions, not just clean plates. We need to look at the bigger picture and the steps we can all take to make a difference.

For operational foodservice staff, it’s easy to say, “It’s not my bill” and leave the lights on, or the tap leaking and shrug off the consequences as “not my problem”. Distributors – you and I know this has been a long time coming.

As business leaders, this is where we can and must do more, not just for the bottom line for the business (although this is a great incentive), but so we are also doing our bit for the planet.

Tags : footprint intelligenceMeikoreportsustainabilityvoice of the industry
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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