Ceram Calculates Johnson Tiles’ Water Footprint

Having recently launched a new water footprinting protocol, the first of its kind for the ceramics industry, Ceram was asked by Johnson Tiles to carry out a water footprint of its factory in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. Committed to limiting their environmental impact, the company wanted to measure their water consumption with the aim of reducing it in future, and thus saving costs.

As with most manufacturing, water is an integral part of the process. Johnson Tiles utilise enough water to supply over 1,000 households per annum during their manufacturing operations. The audit and report independently confirmed Johnson Tiles were already leaders in their field, and recycle some 30,000m3 of water per annum - this would be enough for 300,000+ washing machine cycles. Ceram also identified that over 70,000m3 per annum of water is lost to the atmosphere through manufacturing processes such as tile drying and firing. Further investigative work is underway to see if this lost water could be captured and recycled, e.g. the water consumption at the spray drier could potentially be reduced by 40,000m3, thus saving Johnson Tiles £28,000 a year, at the current cost of water.

Yvonne McGillycuddy, Ceram's water footprinting consultant, said:
"Water is a hot topic now for industry. Just as carbon is now measured and managed with the aim of reducing it, we believe that, in the near future, water will be too. Our water footprinting protocol will help clients like Johnson Tiles to identify where water usage can be reduced and thus costs saved. Having a water footprint also helps to differentiate you from your competitors - it proves to customers that you are committed to limiting your environmental impact."

Ceram is currently working with a number of other ceramic and brick companies to develop their water footprints.

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