Cox Enterprises Aligns Water Conservation with Fiscal Responsibility
One of our leading customers, Cox Enterprises, was recently featured in Environmental Leader (EL) for its longstanding commitment to sustainability. As 2017 is the 10-year anniversary of Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program, EL caught up with Steve Bradley, assistant VP of environmental sustainability, to talk about the company’s progress over the past 10 years and where the water program is headed for the future.
Since 2007, Cox Conserves has saved 57 million gallons of water, all as a result of Bradley and his colleagues’ efforts to align water saving initiatives with financial consideration. Looking ahead, Cox aims to be water and carbon neutral by 2044.
Bradley and his colleagues started by focusing on energy conservation, as energy is the company’s second largest expense. But, they soon realized that in order to be truly disruptive and impactful, they needed to expand into water and waste as well. Water also fits in to the program’s circular economy mentality — ensuring that everything Cox uses is reused or upcycled rather than thrown away — as the program works on using water to its greatest efficiency.
The company’s ongoing water conservation initiatives include rainwater harvesting and water reclamation systems. Because water is priced at a low level that fails to fully account for scarcity and infrastructural issues, Cox Conserves mainly takes advantage of inexpensive technologies to maximize water savings without excessive fiscal spending.
Bradley predicts that investing in water savings now will protect the company from future volatility in the industry. As cities and states around the country update their sewer infrastructure to meet rising standards, water prices could rapidly increase, and proactive companies like Cox will be ahead of the curve thanks to strategic foresight and planning.
Environmental sustainability and fiscal responsibility are not mutually exclusive. Says Bradley, “We can do more good if we’re financially successful than we ever could if we only singularly focused on the environment.”
To view our full interview with Robert Fairey, Sr. Director of Energy Procurement and Waste Diversion at Cox, click here.
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About Amy Hou
Amy Hou is a Marketing Manager at Urjanet, overseeing content and communications. She enjoys writing about the latest industry updates in sustainability, energy efficiency, and data innovation.