The International Organization for Standardization’s new 14046, “Environmental management—Water footprint—Principles, requirements and guidelines” standard will allow a wide range of private and pubic entities the means to measure the environmental impact of their water use and pollution potential. It joins the ISO 14000 Environmental management series, whose “Type III Environmental Product Declarations” standard governs documents concrete interests are issuing as green building rating systems evolve.
Developed by life-cycle assessment-guided experts from across the globe, ISO 14046 can help determine the magnitude of potential environmental impacts related to water; identify ways to reduce those impacts; optimize water management at product, process and organizational levels; and, provide scientifically consistent and reliable information for reporting water footprint results tracked over time. The standard includes geographical and temporal dimensions and identifies the quantity of water used and changes in water quality. Additional information can be obtained at www.iso.org.
Concrete interests that have added water usage benchmarks alongside carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals include Cemex S.A.B. de CV and Central Concrete Supply Co. Cemex and the International Union for Conservation of Nature announced a “Water Project” in 2013, aiming to improve water management in the heavy building materials industry. Three years ago, Central Concrete enlisted its information technology services provider, Climate Earth, to create a module for measuring and managing ready mixed operations’ and supply chain water usage.