The EPA-funded Community of Practice (COP) for Large Water Users is comprised of over 120 of the largest production and service facilities across Ireland along with key national stakeholders and development agencies with a focus on addressing the challenges of sustainable water management at their sites.

The initiative was originally established in December 2013 with support from the EPA under the 2013 Green Enterprise Call. The focus is on large water users as a catalyst for change in terms of water management practices along the supply chain and the collaborative development of specialised management tools and Water Stewardship roadmaps.

The membership is drawn from the Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical and other key sectors. The establishment, and ongoing operation of the initiative is managed by us here at Central Solutions, an Irish firm recognised internationally as a leader in the area of Water Stewardship Programmes and tools for both public and private sector clients.

By working together with the member firms we have identified and delivered millions of Euros in annual water and related resource efficiency savings across their sites. Water Champions at member firms have completed Water Stewardship training and introduced site wide staff Sustainability training and assessments to deliver real behavioural change impacts on an ongoing basis.

Member firm ABP became the first beef processor in the world to achieve gold certification status under the EWS international water stewardship standard and has since rolled out the standard and a set of specialist water tracking and reporting systems across all its Irish sites with Enterprise Ireland GreenPlus support. Member firms have completed detailed mapping of their water lifecycles using novel data management and visualisation technologies developed by Central Solutions for this purpose, providing a platform for better water stewardship, audit-ability and management engagement at those facilities.

Elsewhere member firm GSK is leading the collaborative development of a Water Risk Model for the Pharmaceutical Sector with IRCSET support in a truly world-class R&D initiative.

And with the support of the linked Lean Water & Energy Skillnet Programme, University certified training programmes focussed on the application of lean six sigma and international standards to utility management has been developed and rolled out successfully across larger member sites.

The EPA Large Water Users CoP is a truly world-class water stewardship initiative and one that we at Central Solutions are very proud to be associated with.