Although freshwater is an abundant resource worldwide, its availability is decreasing in many regions of the planet, mainly due to climate change, population growth and intensive use for agricultural and industrial processes. Therefore, guaranteeing a sufficient water supply without affecting economic growth and the environment is a challenge.
Since we are facing a global problem with local solutions, it is necessary to have indicators that allow us to assess the baseline. In this sense, the water footprint evaluates water use by organizations, processes, and products, providing quantitative and qualitative information that allows organizations to be directed towards more sustainable and equitable use of freshwater.
The water footprint is calculated by measuring the volume of freshwater consumed throughout the entire supply chain and following the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach. It is a multidimensional indicator, which shows:
- The volume of water consumed, classified by sources.
- The volume of contaminated water, by type of contamination.
ALLCOT applies the Water Footprint Network’s methodology. It is based on the calculation of the 3 components: blue, green and gray water footprint. The complete assessment of the water footprint consists of four distinct phases:
- Definition of the objectives and scope of the water footprint.
- Evaluation of the sustainability of the water footprint from an environmental, social and economic perspective.
- Formulation of a strategy for a more sustainable use of water.
The benefits of applying this measure are numerous, including:
- More efficient water management and improvement in the quality of discharges into the environment.
- It allows processes optimization, a reduction in costs and, therefore, an aid in decision-making for future investments.
- It positions companies by enhancing the value of their brand, and committing to corporate social responsibility.
- Anticipation and adaptation to legislative requirements.