The benchmarking process involves establishing your own performance level and measuring it against peer businesses on a like-for-like basis. To benchmark your water use, you should follow a systematic process:
- planning - decide who is going to carry out the benchmarking and agree on the objectives, criteria and businesses against which you want to benchmark
- information gathering - establish your own water use, eg by using a water balance, record that of similar businesses using the same measurement criteria and then collate the findings so that you can make comparisons
- analysis - review the information you have gathered, find and fill any gaps, ensure that comparisons are realistic and identify opportunities for improvement
- implementation - make an action plan consisting of quick wins and longer-term initiatives, assign responsibilities and put the plan into action, making sure that it is properly monitored
- evaluation and review - benchmarking is a process of continual improvement so you should review the results of your action plan and repeat the benchmarking exercise regularly to see what further improvements you can make
You can find data on other businesses using government sources, trade associations and trade publications. It is also worth approaching comparable businesses directly, as they may also benefit from benchmarking.
Your benchmarking report should identify where water use and wastage is higher than industry averages. These should then point to potential savings.