Water efficiency is a fluid investment for your ESG strategy

Water efficiency is a fluid investment for your ESG strategy

As the threat of climate change and depletion of natural resources increases, many countries are undertaking ambitious efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. However, water efficiency remains a blind spot.

The Paris Agreement, adopted by 196 countries in 2016, is a legally binding agreement on climate action that aims to achieve a climate-neutral world by 2050. Or more precisely: To limit global warming to well below 2, preferably even 1.5 degrees Celsius. To do this, we need to reduce CO2 emissions significantly.

However, actions are required from all industries right down to a company and individual level.

The real estate industry is no exception. Already, real estate businesses and owners are working to reduce their impacts on the environment and factoring sustainability issues into investment choices and business decisions and practices.

You, too, can make a difference. By streamlining your water consumption, as well as reducing your energy consumption, heating and cooling, and recycling raw materials, you can actively work to fight climate change.


Lead the change for a greener future

Not only do sustainable strategies and environmentally friendly practices benefit the environment and people, but they also help your business – by saving you resources, money, and time.

“One such opportunity is to reduce your property’s water consumption and improve its water efficiency. As this is still a relatively untapped area for improvement, you can act as a change leader for our greener future,” says Tim Twisk, Global Key Account Manager at Smartvatten.

Leading by example will help guide your employees, customers and the general population to make small changes in their daily lives, as part of broader improvements.

It’s here that your Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) strategy comes into play. It helps measure the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in your company or business.

“By becoming GRESB, BREEAM, Green Key and LEED  certified, the sustainability of your assets is validated cost-effectively according to internationally recognized and robust standards.  When your properties are certified as water efficient, you’re setting the sustainability bar for others to follow,’ says Twisk.


GRESB and BREEAM certifications help:

  • Identify areas of risk, opportunity and impact in your portfolio and assets.
  • Attract new investors seeking more comprehensive risk, opportunity and impact analysis.
  • Systematically improve your investor engagement.
  • Get a clear picture of your ESG performance, how it compares against your peers and what you can do to improve.
  • Report validated ESG performance information to the market using a global industry standard.

“You’ll also receive business intelligence on where you stand compared to your peers and insight into the actions you can take to improve your ESG performance, for example, relating to your water usage.”


Water efficiency saves you money

With much attention focused on climate change and reducing CO2 levels, it’s yet not apparent to everyone that we may also face water scarcity – even as soon as 2030, when 40% of the world’s population may lack sufficient water resources.

“Water efficiency is a blindspot for many real estate owners. You may not have a clear idea of what is happening in the buildings you own, manage and work in,” Twisk explains.


Which water consumption monitoring system is right for you?

There are several options when it comes to choosing the best water consumption monitoring system for your property business.

Manual water consumption monitoring

It involves a technician or maintenance team, a traditional water meter, a pen, a piece of paper to record the reading results, before they are manually entered into a property management system.

Advantages: No hefty investment requires, a manual water meter reading is quick and relatively simple, and can be performed as frequently as needed.

Disadvantages: can be more expensive than an automated process, a manual reading is subject to human-error, can be expensive to perform daily if not hourly manual readings as needed.


Water meter with a pulse outlet

A pulse output measures the volume of water that flows through a conduit, making it possible to measure water consumption on an hourly basis. It can also be retro-fitted into an existing water meter.

Advantages: one main improvement to manual readings is that it can be used to automatically collect hourly water consumption data, meaning water management capabilities through more accurate measure-ment and less time spent on manual meter readings.

Disadvantages: with water consumption measured on an hourly frequency,  it doesn’t help identify leaks—especially in residential properties as well as in bigger commercial real estates. The data collected isn’t accurate enough to negate the need for manual measurement, and while installing a pulse output isn’t particularly difficult or time-consuming, it still requires an initial investment and a technical implementation.


Optical water monitoring system such as Smartvatten

It consists of a small camera-like device that is attached to your main water meter and a cloud-based service that analyzes water consumption in real time.

Advantages: The first four benefits of Smartvatten are the same as those mentioned for ultrasonic flow meters above. In addition, as Smartvatten is sold as a service,  this means that there is no large initial investment involved or technical setup. The device itself is only a camera, so setting up the system will only take about 2 minutes of your time. And you won’t even need a screwdriver to do that.


Aware of water consumption costs?

“Being efficient with your water usage helps you save money – can save up to 20% per property in water costs if you use Smartvatten as part of your sensible water strategy.”

Without precise monitoring, water usage costs and the potential for savings are merely guesswork. So don’t flush money down the drain – find out how Smartvatten’s remote water monitoring service can help you!


Smartvatten’s water management to the rescue

Smartvatten’s water efficiency solution’s effectiveness is in the data – our solution is currently in use at 7,450 properties across 15 countries.

“Each year, property owners who use Smartvatten’s remote monitoring system are alerted to 32,920 leaks and, on average, save up to 20% per property in water costs,” Twisk says.

Companies such as Varma, Forenom, and Tampere Real Estate Services in Finland, Vesteda, NSI N.V., and INNAX in the Netherlands, and SISAB, and Savills in Sweden all benefit in terms of saving water, time, and money from having Smartvatten’s remote monitoring service installed in their properties.

The remote monitoring service consists of a camera that monitors your main water meter around the clock and a cloud-based service that records data in real-time. It analyzes changes in water consumption patterns and notifies your maintenance team immediately if there’s any deviation.

Tracking your water consumption helps identify and prevent leaks in real-time and prevents damage to your buildings’ infrastructure, which is very costly if you don’t fix a leak right away.

Smartvatten’s service also offers detailed consumption reports and automatic leak alerts. You’ll be able to reduce operational costs, save time and the need for manual work, and decrease your business’s environmental impact.

Smarter water consumption helps reduce water payments, energy consumption, and your carbon footprint. While pure water is valuable, water can be used in the same ways as before, without waste.


Smartvatten’s solution in a nutshell

  • Our remote monitoring service measures the water consumption of your property in real-time and immediately alerts you of any leaks, and helps costs stay reasonable
  • Our water-saving survey reveals how much your property can save on water costs
  • Reports verify water-saving measures’ effectiveness
  • Enhance sustainable energy consumption for your entire property and achieve sustainable property certification (BREEAM, GRESB) concerning water usage


Request a demo with Tim