The government recognises the education sector has a massive role in driving the country toward a net-zero future.
Decarbonisation activities in schools and colleges can provide powerful learning opportunities.
Adopting green energy initiatives is a common way schools are helping to improve the environment. Let’s look at another step schools can take in adopting a green water supply.
What’s not green about a mains water supply?
The supply of water to schools is highly carbon-intensive for two reasons:
Water treatment – British water treatment plants process 10 billion litres of wastewater each year, emitting over 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Pumping water – Pumping water from reservoirs to the water users uses lots of energy.
What sustainable water options are available?
Here are the most common sustainable water options that schools could take advantage of:
Rainwater harvesting – Collecting and storing rainwater landing on your school buildings. Collected rainwater can be used directly in non-human processes such as sprinkler systems.
Borehole water supplies – Pumping the pure water found in underground streams beneath your school up to the surface to be used as an alternative to the mains water supply.
Greywater systems – Recycling and treating relatively clean wastewater produced by devices such as washing machines. The locally treated greywater is safe to use in flushing toilets or sprinkler systems.
These options are great but require an upfront investment in time and money. There is also a quicker fix.
Business water suppliers are now offering green water tariffs. In a green water tariff, the carbon emissions caused by your mains water supply are offset through investment in negative carbon projects such as planting forests.
What about carbon emissions from energy supplies?
Renewable energy technology is improving, and the green energy rates are getting ever cheaper.
See if your school can benefit from a green energy tariff with a business energy comparison tool.