June 30, 2013


The Carbon Consulting Company (CCC) is the Sri Lankan partner of the International Water Footprint Network. CCC calculates the water footprint of local companies assessing the three main components – blue, green and grey.


The calculation of the water footprint helps local companies identify water wastage and help them use this precious resource more efficiently. Recently, the Carbon Consulting Company calculated the water footprint of Eswaran Brothers Exports ; this was the first time that a product and organizational water footprint assessment was carried out in Sri Lanka. The process helped Eswaran Brothers to assess the water consumption of their tea products and take measures to reduce water wastage.


Using the globally accepted WFN standard CCC offers its professional services to:

  • Establish the baseline organizational water footprint, or the direct water use by the business in its own operations

  • Establish the supply-chain water footprint, i.e. the water use in the business’s supply chain

  • Calculate and differentiate between the green, blue and grey water footprints

  • Identify water wastage and inefficiency, and provide recommendations to increase water efficiency and improve water management



The Water Audit


The Carbon Consulting Company also carries out a water audit, which is a thorough examination of system records and equipment that may be used to identify, quantify, and verify how much water passes through the system and where it goes; this is done in order to identify means of reducing, reusing and recycling of water. A water efficiency audit involves the analysis of historical water use, checking of current water use, inspection of water-using devices and processes, and the identification of water efficiency measures including the cost to implement these measures and the volume of water savings to be achieved. A comprehensive water efficiency audit will, among other things, focus on a number of common water-using activities and water saving technique.




The Water Neutral concept


The ‘Water Neutral’ concept means that the consumer reduces the water footprint of an activity as much as reasonably possible and offsets the negative externalities of the remaining water footprint. ‘Water Neutral’ generally does not mean that water use is brought down to zero, but that the negative economic, social and environmental externalities are reduced as much as possible and that the remaining impacts are fully compensated. Compensation can be done by contributing to (investing in) a more sustainable and equitable use of water in the hydrological units in which the impacts of the remaining water footprint are located.

The Carbon Consulting Company advises corporates to strive for water neutrality by investing in water saving technology, water conservation measures and wastewater treatment. Compensation can be done through improved watershed management or by supporting poor communities that do not have access to clean water. A business can take full responsibility for reducing its operational water; it can strive towards using the best available technology (BAT). Besides, a business has influencing power with its suppliers, which it must use to get them to reduce their operational footprint (the businesses supply-chain WF). A business can also switch to another supplier that has a lower water footprint.




The organizational and product water footprint analysis illustrates a company’s direct and indirect water consumption in order have a comprehensive understanding of the company’s impact on limited water resources, and help it address the looming global water crisis by protecting this invaluable resource. Through the water footprint process, the Carbon Consulting Company hopes to promote the transition towards sustainable, fair and efficient use of freshwater resources in Sri Lanka.


One of the biggest challenges of the new millennium is conserving the Earth’s dwindling fresh water resources. With time, businesses will be increasingly pressurised to play a more active role in water conservation. Calculating a corporate’s water footprint and taking steps to reduce water wastage is the ideal way for a corporate to save water. Corporate frontrunners that create product transparency, that formulate specific and measurable targets with respect to water footprint reduction and that demonstrate actual improvements will garner public acclaim and a valuable advantage over their competitors.

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