Sainsbury’s has reduced its operational water consumption across its entire estate by 50 per cent relative, which is a saving of 393 Olympic sized swimming pools each year (approx. 982,500m3). The retailer reached its target, against a 05/06 baseline, at the end of March 2013 due to a number of measures including recycling, leak detection, and utilising rainwater throughout its operations.
Sainsbury’s has also become one of the first organisations to achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard, and the first retailer to obtain independent certification showing it’s taking action to measure, manage and reduce water use year on year.
Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering, Energy and Environment, Paul Crewe, said: "As you would expect, we take water consumption very seriously especially at this crucial time of increasing natural resource scarcity. We are very proud of achieving our target of a 50 per cent relative reduction which means that each year we’re saving almost 400 Olympic sized swimming pools of water across our stores. This challenging target is part of our 20x20 Sustainability Plan to help us reduce our impact on the environment and ensure the long-term sustainability of our business.
"We achieved our water reduction target in a number of ways such as eradicating underground leaks which has saved our stores hundreds of thousands of pounds. We have also fitted things like pre-rinse spray taps and low-flush toilets in all our stores and invested in rainwater harvesting for all new stores as standard, as well as retrofitting these units in existing stores."
Over the past year Sainsbury's has focused on strategic investments, not only to deliver its target but to ensure it is maintained and, wherever possible, non-potable water is used. These include:
Water stewardship is one of Sainsbury's key environmental targets and it forms part of the company’s industry-leading 20x20 Sustainability Plan, which is the cornerstone of its business strategy.