Team 4

Every drop counts

Project Update

Team 4: “Our idea was to save a lot of water through minor modifications and changes. In our analysis, we were able to roughly estimate and measure the amount of water that is wasted. We are checking the associated costs and effort with our plumber.”

Which aspects of your topic have already been implemented within the company?
Currently, nothing has been implemented yet. Editor’s note: IGP has been using waterless urinals for some time and has implemented various water-saving measures in recent years.

What are the reasons for the status quo?
It’s very difficult to collaborate effectively in our team, since the three of us have school on different days. This only leaves us two days per week.

What was your highlight?
The realization of how much drinking water goes to waste in just one toilet.

What was your biggest hurdle?
Encouraging others to think about sustainability.

What would you do differently next time?
Put more focus on this project and schedule fixed meetings (e.g., every two weeks).

What have you learned? What will you take away from this experience?
Even small things can yield big savings. It was astonishing how much drinking water is lost through the toilets. This will never change unless water prices rise massively. We would save around 40 Swiss francs per toilet. We would also need to convert the water faucets. This would require substantial funding. Financial considerations cannot and must not be the focus of our project.

Our results at a glance …

Our team set out to analyze and reduce IGP’s water consumption. We are currently in the process of planning our next steps. Since our project won’t have a major financial impact, we are developing ideas on how to stimulate sustainable thinking among our colleagues. We are creating graphics and realistic comparisons, and showing that the financial aspect is not the only one that matters. We are currently trying to start a pilot project with the aim of defining a set of targets. This will allow us to put some clear facts on the table and consolidate and confirm our targets on the basis of concrete readings.

At the start of the workshop, we felt kind of overwhelmed by a topic and project that seemed virtually impossible. But Mischa and Dominik used some really good methods to help us understand climate change. The discussions based on the items in the “museum” gave us some new insights and showed up different points of view. In the end, we felt so well prepared for our project that we came up with lots of ideas for improvements. Our team enjoyed Mischa and Dominik’s presentation very much. It’s motivated us to start a project and see it through with their support.

Team 4 is looking at IGP’s water consumption and, of course, ways to reduce it. After some initial research, they have determined that a lot of water could be saved, especially in the sanitary facilities as some of them are damaged and therefore no longer watertight. Repairs to defective parts and optimized toilet flushing could help to reduce the amount of drinking water that is lost. However, this topic is multifaceted – there are various ways in which water could be saved. For example, the team has also come up with the idea of installing pushbuttons on faucets throughout the company, so that the water automatically shuts off after use.

What do the Company Challenge and combating climate change mean to you?

“In our family, we make sure we use public transport, keep vacations abroad to a minimum, and travel more locally. I think it’s really exciting to develop new ideas that will help our company do more to protect the environment.”

“During my apprenticeship in one particular department, I looked at our environmental protection measures compared to those of competitors. At home, my family separates the trash, watches our water usage, buys local produce, and we have a solar system as well as a geothermal heat pump.”

“Until now, I haven’t paid much attention to this topic. But I’m looking forward to learning more about it, and I want to look at better ways to protect the climate, generate less waste, dispose of it properly, and use less plastic.”