BLUE NETWORKS: SUSTAINABLE COLLABORATION IN THE DRINKING-WATER SECTOR

Getting clean water from the tap in the Netherlands is taken for granted. However, the way in which it is produced and transported can be improved even further. This is why all ten Dutch drinking-water companies are working together to make their sector sustainable more quickly: under the guidance of MVO Nederland, they are taking drastic steps in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable chemicals and sustainable procurement.

 

The drinking-water companies that are part of the Blue Networks (‘Blauwe Netten’) coalition have agreed specific arrangements in six key fields. The initial focus is on making their own energy consumption sustainable through sustainable procurement & generation and by having a more efficient water distribution system. They are also working on making the auxiliary materials that they need for water purification more sustainable.

CIRCULAR WATER NETWORKS

Every year, the drinking-water companies spend about 60 million euro buying piping materials from their suppliers. A Commodities Passport (a ‘Grondstoffenpaspoort’) has now been developed for this infrastructure. This provides useful data on the chain of the materials used and on what happens to them after usage. In this way, the drinking-water companies can reduce their waste flows and improve their recycling of residual materials. The method opted for (namely Rendemint’s PRP Tool for Pre Returnable Procurement) also focuses just as much on the people involved in the chain.

‘Blue Networks is a major step forward,’ says Maria van der Heijden, MVO Nederland director. ‘Not only are the drinking-water companies themselves becoming more sustainable but there are also positive consequences, including for suppliers, for raw materials usage and for the level of renewable energy generation. What’s more, the drinking-water companies are setting a good example for the other sectors. Collaborating means achieving the desired results faster and also means we are fast-tracking the drive towards sustainability in the Netherlands.’

All the Dutch drinking-water companies are part of the Blue Networks coalition, these being: Brabant Water, Dunea, Evides, Oasen, PWN, Vitens, Waterbedrijf Groningen, Waterleidingmaatschappij Drenthe, Waternet and WML.

Links

  • Take a look at the video about the Blue Networks coalition.
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