Case study

Save water at commercial premises

Saving water at our commercial premises - Baring Asset Management

Baring Asset Management is a global investment management company that manages billions of pounds of money on behalf of clients located around the world.

It operates with a staff of 460 out of approximately 80,000 square feet of office premises in central London, spread over four floors, including kitchens and dining areas.

What we did

Benchmarked water use

As a tenant, Baring pays for its water and sewage disposal as part of a standard management service charge. It was therefore important to establish the anticipated water use figures based on a number of standard office benchmarking calculations such as:

  • employees use approximately 35 litres per head per day or approximately 7.7 cubic metres per year based on 220 working days per year
  • canteen use is 15 litres per meal
  • visitors use 12 litres per head per day
  • showers use 50 litres per shower

By adding other 'hidden' water uses, such as air conditioning cooling towers, the business' total baseline water use was estimated to be greater than 12,500 cubic metres per year. Baring therefore intends to negotiate with the landlord to claim back any water cost savings that it achieves.

Introduced water reduction initiatives

Having established the office water use benchmark, Baring considered a number of initiatives to reduce water use. These included:

  • installing passive infrared flush control devices in all urinals to avoid unnecessary flushing during the night time and at weekends - savings have been estimated as 1,200 cubic metres or £1,600 per year
  • installing cistern volume adjusters in the office's 58 cisterns - savings have been estimated at 260 cubic metres or £350 per year
  • reducing the heat load in the offices - eg computer monitors left switched on when they are not in use and heating empty rooms - this has a direct effect on both water use in the air conditioning system and on associated energy costs

A number of other 'good practice' initiatives are also being promoted, including:

  • ensuring dishwashers are full before operating
  • avoiding defrosting food under a running tap
  • using soap 'foam' to speed up rinsing hands
  • making sure that water flows into sink solid waste disposal units only when actually required
  • lagging hot water pipes to prevent heat loss and excessive running when hot water is required

What the benefits were

Baring saved a total of over £2,000 per year by introducing small water saving measures. The business has reduced its water use by more than 1,200 cubic metres per year.