ONE of the UK’s largest water retailers has donated £50,000 to public sector organisations throughout Scotland to help fund water efficiency projects.
Edinburgh-based Business Stream set up its annual Public Sector Scotland (PSS) Water Efficiency Fund to help organisations such as local councils, schools and universities deliver environmental and financial savings.
This year, the retailer has awarded funding to Midlothian Council which is looking to generate efficiencies at two of its primary schools. Funding has also been awarded to South Lanarkshire College and Glasgow Kelvin College, both of which are using the money to invest in water saving devices, rainwater harvesting apparatus and water efficiency audits.
Scottish Fire and Rescue has also been awarded funding for a water efficiency audit across nine stations, and East Ayrshire Council and charity body, Glasgow Life, is hoping the investment will improve their urinal flow facilities.
In addition to providing funding, Business Stream will also support the delivery of each project.
Chief Executive of Business Stream, Jo Dow said: “It’s important to us that we do everything we can to help organisations become more water efficient. We’re delighted that our fund is supporting the public sector throughout Scotland to generate environmental and financial savings for the fourth year running. Our fund provides an opportunity for forward thinking organisations to implement steps that will directly benefit their bottom line and support their sustainability goals.” The fund allocation process was overseen by a judging panel comprising of representatives from Business Stream, the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), public sector bodies and Scottish Procurement.
Sheona McIntyre, Environment Officer, Scottish Fire and Rescue, said: “Business Stream’s fund will not only help the Scottish Fire and Rescue service deliver water efficiencies, but also help to further educate our teams on the importance of using water wisely and being conscious of waste water. We’re delighted to have been awarded funding.”
Business Stream recently announced it had saved Scotland’s public sector a record £2.85million over the course of the last year, taking total savings over three years to £6.4million. As a result of the retailer’s activities, the sector has also saved more than 1.365 billion litres of water over the past year, equivalent to the volume of 546 Olympic swimming pools.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, with a presence in Worthing, West Sussex and in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Business Stream is guided by its ambitious vision to make a positive difference (MAPD) to its customers, its people, the environment and local communities.
Since launching that vision in 2019, the UK’s second largest water retailer has introduced more than 30 initiatives, several of which have contributed to its latest reduction of 50% in carbon emissions over the past year.
While the company achieved a 25% reduction in 2021-22, the 2022-23 figure, which has been externally verified, is a significant step toward Business Stream becoming net zero by 2030 – well ahead of the Scottish Government’s 2045 target.
In recognition of its efforts to operate as a responsible business, the retailer was awarded a Gold rating by global sustainability assessors, EcoVadis, in November 2022, placing it within the top 5% of companies measured across four key sustainability areas – the environment, sustainable procurement, labour and working conditions and ethics.