In Partnership With The National Post and Media Planet
Forward thinking enterprises seeking ways to increase their sustainability efforts may find some lasting progress in how they handle their drinking water.
Enterprises looking to build a more sustainable practice have been seeking the services of companies like Vivreau for its water filtration and dispenser system technology.
It’s part of an ongoing trend that’s pushing enterprises to prioritize sustainability, and there’s empirical evidence backing it up. A Randstad survey from 2018 found that 77% of Canadians only wanted to work for a company with a strong corporate sustainability program. Research firm Corporate Knights first started ranking publicly-traded companies on their sustainability practices in 2005, and has seen new entrants in the Top 100 year after year.
Vivreau, which launched in North America in 2009, developed a solution that connects to a company’s water main and filters water for healthier consumption. Its clients are mostly enterprises in office buildings, along with the hospitality sector, serving the water needs of employees and guests without single-use plastics. The system can dispense over 120 litres of chilled and purified still or sparkling water per hour, with each filter processing nearly 95,000 litres.
“A critical mass has emerged as companies feel increased scrutiny about the way things have always been done,” says Chris Dagenais, Vice President of Marketing at Vivreau. “Having a blue bin filled with disposable plastic bottles at the end of a workday is far from a net zero proposition when you consider the energy, water, transport, and labour required to produce a new container through recycling.”
Vivreau’s systems support businesses with two general approaches to responsible hydration. Intuitively-designed self-serve dispensers are targeted to staff and stakeholders who fill up their own personal bottles instead of reaching for single-serve bottled products. Alternatively, businesses can use the system with custom branded reusable glass water bottles, particularly for offices that hold meetings or events.
Businesses can improve health and wellness in the workplace by replacing refrigerators filled with sugary drinks with a system that serves everyone.
“The landscape for a responsible water program becomes much friendlier to decision-makers when they see that they’re keeping good company with other notable companies that have adopted programs,” says Dagenais. “There are countless tangible benefits to having a hydrated workforce for better productivity. It’s not just the environmental proposition for many organizations, but also the health of their employees and clients that informs a sustainability goal.”
Dagenais also believes scale matters. An enterprise with multiple offices in different cities or countries could see significant cost and space savings from replacing pallets of product with a single dispenser.
“Deep down, everyone wants to do the right thing,” he says. “If one office takes a chance on a new approach like this, it’s just a matter of time before the positive, tangible program metrics encourage others to follow suit.”