Coca-Cola, IKEA and Sainsbury’s become the latest Consumer Council Water Champions

in Water

Three of NI’s biggest companies, Coca-Cola Hellenic Northern Ireland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s, have helped swell the ranks of the Consumer Council’s Water Champions Award Scheme by saving vast quantities of water and money off their bills. 

Recognition for the water saving efforts made by these companies comes as ‘World Water Week’ gets underway globally. The Water Champions award is given to organisations that demonstrate how they have reduced water usage and saved money through the implementation of water saving measures.  From making the most of the rain proffered by our weather to analysing bills – these big three household names have tips that they want to share with all NI organisations paying water bills.

At the Holywood Exchange, IKEA has a roof that not only has a great view of the runway at Belfast City Airport but also harvests every drop of rain that falls off the 30,000 square foot building. IKEA re-uses this water, estimated to be around 20 million litres per year, in-store. Their advice; Nigel McGarry, Sustainability Leader with IKEA Belfast said; “We are fortunate to have a roof which is large enough to allow us to harvest a significant amount of rainwater. However we would say that in fact overall, education is the key to success in terms of educating both staff and customers on the simple things that can make a difference such as turning off taps and being vigilant for leaks.”

In Lisburn, Coca-Cola Hellenic Northern Ireland, which has the capacity to produce 1.5 million litres of beverages each day, has saved the equivalent of 800 million cans of coca cola through a variety of sustainability projects including water re-use programs, the appointment of workplace environment champions and the installation of sensors on water devices, which have led to a 30% reduction in water use since 2008. Their advice; Louise Wilson, Environment Manager, Coca-Cola Hellenic Northern Ireland said; “We take water conservation very seriously, we use borehole water and as such it is extremely important that we preserve our source water for the future and for the local communities in which we operate. We continually strive to reduce the amount of water used to produce our beverages by making both technical and behavioural improvements within our system.”

In Bangor, Sainsbury’s has been working hard to recycle water in its supermarket and car wash in the town through its rainwater harvesting system.  Bills have also been analysed to help identify issues such as leaks, and Sainsbury’s has installed water saving devices throughout the store. Their advice; Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering and Energy said; “Analyse billing data and conduct audits to ensure you understand your water use.  Also, identify any problems such as leaks, remedying them as soon as possible.”

Graham Smith, Head of Water at the Consumer Council has hailed the efforts made by all concerned, “The addition of Coca-Cola Hellenic Northern Ireland, IKEA and Sainsbury’s to the Consumer Council’s growing list of Water Champions means that NI businesses, schools and commercial premises who are part of this scheme have helped save millions of litres of water so far.

“We would encourage all businesses, big and small, to contact the Consumer Council for ideas on how to make savings or to find out more about bills and allowances,” said Graham.

The Consumer Council also has a range of online resources to help business users check allowances and usage.  Additionally it provides a free complaints service for those dissatisfied with a response from an energy or water provider.

For further details about the Water Champions Scheme or for a free copy of Every Drop Counts, a guide for businesses and farms to improve their water efficiency visit; telephone 0800 121 6022 or find us on twitter (@ConsumerCouncil) or facebook (Consumer Council Northern Ireland).


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