Under our SustainAbilities plan, one of our five outcomes is to have a positive environmental impact. To do that, we’re looking at how we can reduce our use of resources, such as water, by 40%. In this blog, we show how one of our international offices found a simple way to help colleagues in a water-short country to save water at work and at home
In 2016 the Chilean team at Interserve’s equipment services business, RMD Kwikform (RMDK), rolled-out a simple and low-cost idea to help save water at its offices. Using 500ml soda bottles filled with sand and placed in the office toilet cisterns, they estimate they are saving 27,000 litres of water every year.
The soda bottle works to displace water – where a cistern would normally flush 10 litres each time, the soda bottle displaces 0.5 litres of water. With twelve office toilets each flushed 15 times a day, this represents 540,000 litres per year, but using the soda bottles saves 27,000 litres per annum.
Although there are more high-tech solutions on the market, such as duel flush cisterns, or cistern hippos that do much the same thing, the team weren’t able to install these into a leased office. Also, they wanted to demonstrate to their colleagues at RMD Kwikform that anybody could be more sustainable at home, saving both money and the environment, using a simple low-cost technique. An academic from one of Chile’s most prestigious universities, Dr. Pablo García, from the Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation at Universidad de Chile, recently declared that Chile was experiencing a long draught period which may well be permanent, and urged citizens to educate children and young people how to better use resources.
The team at RMD Kwikform in Chile launched the idea with a communications campaign showing people how to install the soda bottles, alongside facts to highlight what 270,000 litres of water equates to. That amount of water is the equivalent to washing a car six times a month or taking 11 baths a month, all year round!
The campaign has been successful, and helped contribute to Interserve’s overall reduction of water intensity, or litres of water consumed per person, of -30 per cent across our international operations in 2016. Through this simple idea, our colleagues in Chile and their families are saving water and money both at work, and at home.
To see our colleagues in action, watch our video.
Interserve has offices in more than 40 countries around the world, under many different company names. Our falsework and formwork business – RMD Kwikform – hires and sells temporary works and engineering design for building, construction and infrastructure projects. They have operations in an increasing number of territories, from Hong Kong to India, Bahrain to Singapore. To find out more about their work see their website.