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Bringing environmentally-friendly drinking water to HE

Unis are advised to promote the use of reusable bottles instead of pre-bottled water, having a dramatic impact on carbon footprint

Posted by Hannah Vickers | April 17, 2017 | Catering & hospitality

Most, if not all, universities in the UK enjoy a healthy revenue stream from selling conference and events facilities. Many potential clients ask questions regarding sustainability, particularly those from the public sector who have been asked to ensure that any supplier they contract has sound environmental credentials.

One way that universities can improve their green reputation is by reducing the amount of waste that the campus produces. According to a recent white paper from Business Green: “Putting waste into landfill is not only irresponsible, but it’s expensive; the amount of money that we spend on landfill tax is rising, currently at a huge £82.60 per tonne. To protect your pocket, and your brand, zero waste to landfill is the only recycling goal that makes sense. In today’s progressive business context, brand is everything, and green is in this year.”

In order to reduce waste, universities are advised to promote the use of reusable bottles as opposed to bringing in pre-bottled drinking water which can have a dramatic impact on carbon footprint. By investing in a system such as BRITA Vivreau’s Table Water Bottling System and purifying water on site, the hospitality operations team will also be saved from having to order water, have it delivered, find space to store it and then recycle the bottles afterwards.

The Table Water Bottling System dispenses unlimited quantities of purified chilled still and sparkling water in-house, that can be served in reusable branded Designer glass bottles. 

BRITA Vivreau’s reusable Designer glass bottles provide the opportunity to sell own-brand bottled water, displaying a logo and carbon footprint message, which enables universities to strengthen brand awareness.

The Table Water Bottling System can also generate a revenue stream from selling the water to conference and hospitality clients as part of a catering package. Clients are able to offer chilled still or sparkling water in branded bottles at a lower price point compared to pre-bottled water, thereby providing excellent value as well as a premium service to their customers.

Jonathan Minshull, Head of Catering Operations for Taste Manchester commented: “From a sustainability point of view, we’ve reduced the amount of plastic bottles that we have delivered on campus. Our deliveries, storage and recycling have all improved as a result of installing the BRITA Vivreau systems.”

“The expectation of conference delegates has increased and they now expect filtered water. Being able to include the Table Water Bottling System as part of our conference package has been a big plus for us. We have also improved the offer for our conference delegates as the system looks more professional than the plastic bottles that we previously provided.”

BRITA Vivreau’s top tips:

  • Reusable bottles - Although recycling facilities are available, re-using will always be more efficient than recycling and will provide an immediate and dramatic impact on carbon footprint.
  • Reduce water miles - Consider where your manufacturer is based in order to reduce the amount of miles taken to deliver your water and minimise CO2 emissions.
  • Instant boiling water - Millions of litres of water are wasted in universities across the globe when kettles in staff rooms are filled to the brim unnecessarily. Instead, consider a system such as BRITA Vivreau’s ViTap which provides instant boiling water so that only what is needed is used.
  • Promote regular hydration - Ensure drinking water is easily accessible and regular hydration is promoted to staff, students, visitors and hospitality clients. Hydration can be easily overlooked, however, drinking plenty of fluids can help improve concentration, combat fatigue and boost productivity.
  • Get staff and student buy-in - Communicate to staff and students the positive implications of your approach to hydration. Staff pride in working for an environmentally friendly university will increase, which will in turn improve the university’s reputation and CSR credentials. 

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