World Water Day

20 Mar 2014

Water is a precious resource that we rely on to sustain life. We not only use water to grow our food and to generate energy but we also need it for our own survival. Despite its importance, there are numerous challenges facing the world’s water supplies, ranging from water scarcity to access to clean water.


This Saturday - 22nd March - marks World Water Day and provides an opportunity for the world to focus its attention on the critical water issues of our era.   

As a sector, retail is not an intensive water user, but we have identified some key areas to concentrate on in our direct operations. In those countries where either usage, cost or scarcity are high, we have made it our priority to reduce use and focus on where we can improve efficiency.  

In our UK business we use over 5 million m³ of water each year – that’s the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic sized swimming pools! Much of this water is used as part of day-to-day operations, such as washing vehicles and flushing toilets. However, we know that we can better manage our water usage by reducing leakage and excessive consumption.  

To do this, over the past year we've been measuring and monitoring our water consumption so that we are better placed to reduce water wastage. We’ve built a new water management system so we can identify and address unusual consumption and have been working hard to raise awareness with colleagues about better water management. We are also refurbishing a number of our rainwater harvesting projects to ensure they are effective as possible.  

We have already made great progress over the past few years by installing water efficient taps and toilets as standard in our UK stores. Going forward, we will continue to invest in water efficient technology and drive positive behaviour change across our UK and international business.

For more information on World Water Day including facts, figures and infographics check the UN's official World Water Day website