Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Sunlight and Branston have signed up to a new water waste standard developed by the Carbon Trust.

The new standard requires companies to measure all the water they use and dispose of. It also means they have to demonstrate a reduction in water use and achieve a pass score in a qualitative assessment of water governance. 

Carbon Trust said water use was predicted to rise dramatically by 2030 to a level far exceeding fresh water availability.

The environment group said businesses could do more. Its own survey of 475 large companies in the US, UK, China South Korea and Brazil found that only one in seven had water reduction targets or reported publicly on water performance.

“We’ve launched the Water Standard to help companies to monitor and manage their water usage and build resource efficiency into future business plans,” said Carbon Trust CEO Tom Delay.

The four companies initially signed up to the standard also helped develop the methodology with the Carbon Trust. 

“We are delighted to be one of the first companies to be recognised by the Carbon Trust Water Standard for reducing our water consumption, particularly at this crucial time of increasing natural resource scarcity,” said Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe.