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Do You Support Water Conservation? Then Support These 8 Brands

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  • Mon, Mar 21, 2016 - 01:54pm


    David Schwartz

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    Do You Support Water Conservation? Then Support These 8 Brands

The average American family of four will use 146,000 gallons of water this year. Unfortunately, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually through common household leaks. To put that figure in perspective, 1 trillion gallons could meet more than 11 million homes’ water needs. Dripping faucets and running toilets alone waste more than 10,000 gallons of water in every home each year.


But even water waste on that scale is peanuts compared to industrial and agricultural water waste. Roughly 40,000 gallons of water are used to build a single car; the process of producing a single latte — from growing the sugarcane and coffee to constructing the plastic cup and paper sleeve — demands 53 gallons of water. Each plastic water bottle, which holds a couple cups of water, takes 1.85 gallons to produce.


If we’re serious about saving water, we should demand products that not only have recyclable packaging, but are also environmentally sustainable in production. It takes both consumer demand and advancements in new materials and processes to drive down the industrial use of water.


Thankfully, global brands are making strides in water conservation, and they’re working harder than ever to educate their consumers.


Global Brands Are Behind Water Conservation


Global brands are positioned to reach the greatest number of consumers. By calling attention to water use and practicing what they preach, these popular brands are in a position to change consumer behavior. Here are eight labels using their clout to promote water conservation among consumers.


Personal Care Products


  • Colgate-Palmolive’s Save Water” message aired during this year’s Super Bowl, and it encouraged viewers to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. This move was simple but highly effective, considering that Colgate is the only brand purchased by more than half of the world’s households.
  • Johnson & Johnson turned to social media outlets to inspire Millennials to make public commitments for water conservation. The brand’s “Wipe for Water” campaign promises to donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy for every person who pledges to use Neutrogena Naturals’ wipes rather than wash his or her face. Johnson & Johnson has set the bar at 50,000 pledges.


Beverage Companies


  • Dr Pepper-Snapple Group wants to keep the water clean in the Texas watersheds where its bottling plants are based. At the same time, the company aims its conservation efforts at maintaining water quality through the restoration of historic prairie land.
  • PepsiCo treats water as a limited resource, both conserving water usage and investing in clean water technology. PepsiCo’s integrated 2015 strategy increased the brand’s water efficiency by 20 percent per unit even more quickly than expected.
  • The Coca-Cola Company partners with the World Wildlife Fund on conservation efforts for 11 key freshwater basins. The brand entered the water policy arena intent on reducing its environmental footprint across global operations, and its partnership extends through 2020. 
  • MillerCoors forged a water stewardship strategy for three key areas: efficient water use by its breweries, watershed restoration that replaces as much water as it uses, and what it calls “supply chain resiliency” to tackle water issues in grain farming.


Global Apparel Brands


  • Levi Strauss & Co. launched water sustainability efforts in 1994, piloting the clothing industry’s initial guidelines for discharge wastewater quality in wet finishing. Focused on its jeans’ water footprint, Levi’s developed Water finishing processes, saving up to 96 percent of the water used to manufacture jeans.
  • This year, Gap Incpledged to cut its 2015 greenhouse gas footprint in half by the end of 2020. The brand will partner with fabric mills to fight pollution and conserve water, joining the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Through its Women+Water program, it’s providing clean water to 17,000 people in India.


These sustainable brands’ efforts send a message we all need to hear a little more often — “use less water” — and, given their name recognition, expect households everywhere to take notice.

Saving water is a win for brands, consumers, and the environment. Why not support the brands that are taking care of our planet?

David Schwartz is the founder and president of The Water Scrooge, which offers maintenance-free, tamper-proof water conservation tools to landlords and homeowners. The Water Scrooge is based in Lynbrook, N.Y.

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