Water, a vital resource

Developing better water management one drop at a time

  • May 2018

Water is a vital resource – an essential building block of life, and one that does more than just quench our thirst or protect our health.

Effective water management is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, who recognise how closely aligned it is to creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

At Coats we recognise that as a manufacturing business we depend on water as a resource, and must be conscious of using it in a responsible and efficient way. Unmanaged water scarcity can threaten ecosystems and communities, and represent a material risk to our businesses.

Our approach to water management is multi-dimensional - we are always looking for alternatives to using water to limit the impact on local communities. We are continuously working toward reducing our water consumption and returning it to the natural environment after suitable treatment. We seek to recycle the water we extract so that it is reused in our manufacturing processes, thus reducing the load on the environment.

Here are a couple of examples from across Coats where are deploying a range of approaches to effectively manage our use of water:

Vietnam – developing a water management strategy to meet growing demand

In 2013, our Vietnam facility estimated it was using the equivalent of 200 Olympic size pools of water per year and if that demand continued unchecked by 2020 its water usage would almost double and it would not be possible to meet this demand using water from local facilities.

To address this long-term challenge, the team began a water management strategy that started with the installation of water meters and a programme to locate and fix any significant leaks. A daily leak monitoring system led to an awareness campaign among employees, enlisting their help in spotting leaks and saving water.

The team then moved onto a zero basing of water consumption process. Zero basing is a technique used to determine the minimum amount of something needed and then work on reducing your current consumption to that minimum amount. In 2016, the team began focusing on reducing the water consumption of its dye machines. This required purchasing new, low water consumption machines and modifying existing one and to use less. And most recently, in 2018 the team have begun experimenting with re-routing water used for machine cooling for domestic use as well.

All of the above actions have enabled Vietnam to grow, while taking huge strides towards becoming better water management. Last year Vietnam’s water usage had reduced to 178 Olympic size pools a year.

Honduras – investing in water management for long term regional growth

Honduran Water Plant

In Honduras we identified building a modern wastewater treatment plant as a strategic objective for the development of operations in Coats Central America. A modern wastewater treatment facility was the most effective way for us to continue expanding, and at the same time meet every stricter environmental protection levels.

The ETP project commenced in 2017, and by March 2018, the inauguration of the treatment plant took place. Employees and community leaders attended the event and were given a tour in which they learned about the modern operation of the plant, which benefits us as an organization and as part of the community. The high quality of the water we now return and re-use places us as industry leaders within Honduras.

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