BUSINESSES can get free help from Anglian Water to help the Huntingdon-based utility company meet more than 100 green business commitments.

The firm, which serves millions of homes and businesses in the largest, driest and fastest-expanding geographical area of any UK water company, said the commitments together promised to transform the company and put water at the heart of wider efforts to tackle climate change.

Managing director Peter Simpson said the company was building its future around the new programme. Entitled “Love Every Drop,” it commits the business to a far-reaching set of sustainability commitments, pledging to eliminate waste, accidents and pollution and halve carbon use by 2015.

“We want to be part of the national and international response to meeting this huge challenge – leading by example with ideas, resources and positive action – but we've come to realise we can't any longer purely engineer our way out of the problem,” Mr Simpson said.

“A radical change of approach is necessary, and that's what is at the heart of our Love Every Drop manifesto.

“This is all about re-defining the role of a water company in the 21st century, going far beyond achieving our regulatory targets, and aspiring to do a whole lot better,” he added.

“Putting water at the heart of a whole new way of living is a call to action. We want to take a lead and work with other bodies to drive behavioural change in households, businesses, communities and local environments.”

But that will not be achieved without the region's businesses playing their part.

“It's in their interests, too,” said an Anglian Water spokesman. “The less water they use, they less they have to pay for. And it can start with just good house-keeping, such as ensuring taps are turned off.”

For firms using more than 25,000 cubic metres of the increasingly-precious fluid a year, AW makes a proactive approach with an offer to companies of a free water audit, made through dedicated account managers. If they use water as part of a manufacturing process, the potential savings are much greater.

Those assessments are done free, though any subsequent action based on proposals arising from the audit are charged for.

Smaller users can contact AW's business customer services to ask for a similar free assessment. And some customers may devise their own water-saving innovations that AW's engineers can pass on to other eco-minded firms, the spokesman said.

But Anglian Water is also innovating for itself – such as starting to use 'keyhole surgery' on its pipes and sewers, digging a single hole and working along pipes rather than hundreds of metres-long trenches.

INFORMATION: Anglian Water's business customer services are on 08457 626 784 (lines are open between 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 5pm on Friday): e-mail: businesscustomerservices@anglianwater.co.uk