Melita Moretti, PhD

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Sustainable and efficient water use

Socially responsible organizations – ones which, based on their voluntary ethical decisions and activities, strive to take into account social and environmental needs – contribute to sustainable growth, meet the expectations of their stakeholders, act in accordance with applicable laws and international standards of conduct, and report on corporate social responsibility. The Europe 2020 strategy sets out a vision for a European social market economy for the 21st century – one based on smart (innovation, knowledge, “green” information and communication technologies), sustainable (economical use of resources, including water, clean and efficient energy, green technologies, competitiveness, the fight against climate change), and inclusive growth (employment, qualifications, the fight against poverty) (*European Commission, 2010).

In manufacturing organizations, continuous innovation is a powerful tool for creating a competitive advantage. The sustainable innovation of products, processes, and organizational systems plays an important role in fulfilling environmental and social responsibilities. We define sustainable innovation as the development of new products, processes, materials, and technologies that, taking into account the scarcity of natural resources (among them water) and striving to renew them, contribute to the development and well-being of people and society. Sustainable innovation in water use is no exception.

We will comprehensively analyze various individual factors that are most frequently discussed in scientific publications and which have an impact on the innovation performance of manufacturing organizations in water use, e.g. the success of innovations in reducing drinking water consumption, innovative manufacturing processes which use alternative water sources, and innovations in wastewater treatment.

The following will be considered as successful innovations:

  1. reducing environmental impact,
  2. innovative manufacturing processes for the re-use of water,
  3. the innovation of smart grids using information and communications technology to reduce the use of drinking water
  4. innovations in communications technology to improve the quality and management of water consumption as well as the removal of salt and other impurities from water so that it can be re-used in manufacturing

Furthermore, we will analyze the data obtained (information on measures, measures related to sustainable and efficient water management, awareness about the results of market research, seminars, conferences, employee training, etc.) as well as reports on sustainable and efficient water management in manufacturing (presence in the vision and organization strategy, internal reports, websites, etc.) and interpret them within the organizational context.

When assessing of sustainable innovations in water use in manufacturing, we will also take into account the role of individual demographic factors influencing our assessments such as the size and activity of the company, availability of alternative water sources, adoption of environmental standards, etc.

More info: www.pitnavoda.net (in Slovenian)

Melita Moretti, PhD

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*European Commission. 2010. Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:2020:FIN:EN:PDF (24. 7. 2020)

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