Every business owner knows that one of the keys to success—and profitability—is recovering the money you put into your business as quickly as possible. Return on investment, or ROI, measures the amount of profit an investment generates relative to its cost. Although ROI is often expressed as a percentage, it can also be measured in terms of time. In other words, an investment with an ROI of two years is like getting a 50% annual return on your money. Where can you find returns like that? What if we told you that instead of looking to Wall Street, you need to look no further than your business’s water use.
Businesses that are involved in food—supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels, to name a few—use an enormous amount of water in washing, preparing, serving, and cleaning up after the food products they sell. Therefore, it makes sense that finding ways to reduce water use can cut operating costs and widen thin profit margins. The investment you make in water-conservation measures can be paid back in as little as two years—and can keep paying dividends long into the future.
Some of the measures that can produce these quick paybacks include the following.
- Efficient pre-rinse spray valves: Pre-rinsing removes food waste from dishes and pans prior to dishwashing and can account for nearly one-third of the water used in a commercial kitchen. Replacing older spray valves with new efficient valves allows you to do the same job with half the amount of water.
- Faucet aerators: Aerators can help save water and energy in sinks used for flow-based tasks such as washing food, dishes, and hands. Different types of available aerators are appropriate for different applications, like sinks used for volume-based tasks such as filling large pots, filling buckets, or doing both.
Installing water-saving measures like these and others is a cost-effective and easy way to trim your operating costs and benefit the environment at the same time. Here’s how to score even more with a three-point play (pardon the sports analogies, but it’s that time of year).
- The savings hat trick: When you install water-conservation measures, you can save money three ways—on your water bill, on your sewer bill, and on your energy bill (because you’re not heating the water you’re not using). Your ROI on those water-conservation measures gets even better when you factor in the savings on all three of bills.
- Cover all your bases: Owners of multiple food-related sites—such as quick-service restaurant franchises or chain-store supermarkets—can create greater savings value by including all their locations in a water-conservation upgrade. Combining multiple properties in a single retrofit package is more efficient and effective than one-off fixes.
- Have a good manager in your dugout: Ecology Action can manage your water-conservation upgrade from start to finish. We provide a turnkey approach to your project that sources and purchases the equipment you need, handles the supply chain, identifies and applies for rebates, and takes care of installation. By engaging a one-stop shop that manages all the details of your water-conservation upgrade, you can concentrate on running your business.