Firm buoyed by award for water efficiency

Firm buoyed by award for water efficiency

IT TOOK Singapore Epson Industrial years of research and $400,000 to create its very own water recycling system.

The effort, which included repeated trials and failures, turned out to be money and time well spent. Since its inception in 2011, the firm's new recycling system has nearly doubled its rate of waste water recycling at its plating division to 55 per cent. This amounts to 8,000 cubic metres of water - equivalent to three Olympic-sized swimming pools - and around $650,000 in savings each year.

For its exemplary performance in water efficiency, the company's plating division was yesterday awarded the Gold Water Efficient Building Certification by national water agency PUB.

Among the seven other recipients of the award were Asia Square Tower 1, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Riverside Secondary School. A further 20 organisations were awarded the silver certification at the presentation ceremony.

This year, four new sectors - pharmaceuticals, tertiary institutions, data centres and hospitals - were included.

Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, who presented the awards, said that water management should be seen as a responsibility and not a chore. "I would like to urge all sectors to see water management not as a task, not as a chore and not as a backroom function, but as an opportunity, as a competitive advantage and as a responsible action."

The certification, introduced in 2004, measures organisations based on a water efficiency index. The Gold Certification is awarded to the top 10 per cent of water savers in each sector, and silver to the top 25 per cent. Both certifications are valid for three years. There is also a basic certification, which has been given to over 2,600 organisations.

Dr Fang Shunong, senior general manager at Singapore Epson, said he is glad the company's efforts have been recognised, and it is determined to do more. "The aim is to be recycling 70 per cent of our waste water in two to three years," he said. To raise awareness of water recycling and reuse, PUB has added a half-day course on the topic to its water efficiency manager course, which is jointly organised with Singapore Polytechnic for building management staff.

This article was first published on September 26, 2014.
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