AT&T, EDF Promote Conservation Toolkit In Water-Stressed U.S. Cities

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“Conserving water conserves energy, and conserving energy conserves water,” was a key message of 2014 World Water Day and the World Water Development Report. It’s a message that business executives across the economy, not just those in the agricultural and industrial sectors, are increasingly taking to heart.

The search for ways to minimize waste and conserve water, other natural resources and energy is making for what may seem like strange bedfellows. Some of the world’s largest corporations have been joining with leading environmental organizations to find what amount to triple bottom line solutions — solutions that can turn business risks and threats into opportunities and benefits.

Working together at the water-energy nexus, AT&T and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) over the past few years have developed a set of tools to help businesses reduce water, and hence energy, use for cooling buildings. Setting a target of reducing their own annual water use by 5 percent (some 150 million gallons) and annual energy use by 400 million kilowatt-hours (enough for 35,000 U.S. households), the two unlikely partners are setting out to promote and foster adoption of their water-energy conservation toolkit in five water-stressed U.S. cities.

Business risks and threats at the water-energy nexus

It turns out that AT&T has very good reasons for being concerned about water and energy use. As EDF Project Manager Brendan FitzSimons notes in a blog post, “A quarter of AT&T’s top water-consuming facilities – a mix of offices and data centers – are in water-stressed regions, which poses a risk to its operations.” AT&T is not alone.

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