Water Champion: Hilton Salt Lake City Center

Operating in over 100 countries, Hilton hotels are located in some of the world's most diverse and stunning locations - many of them dependent on nature's beauty and wonder.  At the same time, delivering great guest experiences is dependent on the use of many of these natural resources and creates both direct and indirect impacts on the environment.  We are investing in a wide range of initiatives to help our teams manage our environmental footprint better and preserve our planet's natural resources while supporting our global growth.  

Hilton Salt Lake City hosts some of the best sport teams and organizations in the United States.  We pride ourselves on presentation and customer service.  With a hotel property of 499 guestrooms, we have a HUGE responsibility to make sure we conserve but also that we educate our employees and guests to help them to conserve in their own homes.

Hilton has a state of the art website called Lightstay which helps us to measure our impact on the environment and set goals. The website allows us to enter our bills from water, electricity gas and garbage, and then shows us how we stack up against other hotels in our region.  Through these stats, we also are given certifications recognized throughout the world.  We can measure our impact on the environment and set goals each quarter and actually see the reduction of usage by implementing different plans.

Our hotel and company also celebrate Earth Day each year and World Water Day, some of the projects that we have completed with these events are having guests understand statistics of usage in the Hotel and worldwide by playing a matching game at front desk, and bringing water bottles out of the room and putting up more sustainable water stations in the lobby to promote reusing water bottles and preventing less waste.  We also have a card placed in each Guestroom which reads: “Would you like to help us make a difference?  Our "Conserve to Preserve" program helps us to save water and energy in all of our laundry facilities. If you’d like to help, it’s really simple. Your Hilton Serenity Collection linens and towels are freshly laundered for your arrival. We give you the choice for when you would like to have them changed. For bed linens, our standard is to change your bed linens every three days and again after check-out. If you would like your linens changed sooner, please place this card on your pillow in the morning. Bath towels should be placed on the hook or towel bar to use again.  If you leave a towel on the floor, it will be picked up and laundered.” Having these cards and information in the room not only educates the guest but also helps us to conserve water altogether.

We also follow 10 tips throughout our hotel:

  1. We have a stop the drip program that everyone is aware of and reporting to our front desk to record in our MMS tracking system and get Engineering fixing these problems before larger ones happen. 
  2. Use water left over from meetings and offices to water plants or to fill up a mop bucket for later cleaning.
  3. Don’t leave taps running while cleaning rooms.  Use the sink or a bucket to hold water instead.
  4. Run dishwashers with full loads rather than when they are half empty.
  5. Steam rather than boil vegetables. We purchased a very nice steamer for our kitchen with this in mind.  It actually retains the vitamins more as well.
  6. Check basin and bath plugs are in good order and have effective seals.
  7. Implement a “one-flush” policy during the Guestroom cleaning.
  8. Consider installing water displacement devices on older toilets with excessive consumption.
  9. Consider installing low-flow taps or flow restrictors on all taps.
  10. Use Lightstay to track your water consumption and remember to celebrate your achievements!



Water Champion: Thanksgiving Point


Thanksgiving Point Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit farm, garden and museum complex that draws upon the natural world to cultivate transformative family learning. We have a presentation that the public expects us to maintain. Our property has trees and shrubs, turf and flowers—all with different water needs.

Our entire site is monitored by a central water control system where we can oversee daily watering. We are currently in the process of updating this process to make it more efficient, by giving us more control of turn off and on, through using an iPhone system application. As such, we adjust according to water needs and are not just watering automatically from pre-programmed sprinkler clocks. Our staff prioritizes our most visible display areas as most important and parking lots and outlying areas as minimally important when it comes to watering.

The process of water management started 17 years ago, when the Ashton Gardens were built and we are continually fine-tuning. From the beginning we were thinking water-wise management. As such, we recently applied for and received funding from the Institute of Museums and Library Services to create a one-acre Water Wise garden at the Ashton Gardens. This grant funding allowed us to transform an underused space into a garden to teach the community about water-wise plants and practices that thrive in Utah’s climate. The Water Wise garden currently contains 376 woody plants, 4,200 herbaceous plants, 19,600 spring bulbs – including tulips, 279 signs that teach the public about water-wise gardening and a kiosk fitted with brochures from our partner gardens, Central Utah Gardens at the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and the Conservation Garden Park at the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, to allow guests to connect with our partners and learn even more about water-wise gardening. 

In addition to our new Water Wise garden, cultural practices also help us reduce our water use, and those include: Turf aeration, mulching reel mowers, adjusting mowing, height, and slow-release fertilizers. Top-dressing with bark and mulch holds in soil moisture. We do catch water run-off and it is recycled back into the system. Ornamental water in waterfalls and fountains is also recycled.

With a variety of guest experiences, water is an important theme in our operational focus and experience. We strive to become a sustainable nonprofit and community center for guests to engage in conversation around water topics. The importance of water is central to Utah communities and will always be an important focus in our operational and educational practices.




Water Champion: Swire Coca-Cola, USA

At Swire Coca-Cola, USA, we have a vested business interest in protecting the water resources in the communities and ecosystems in which we operate; where we produce refreshing Coca-Cola products is where we also distribute and sell them. In order to maintain the most important ingredient in our products —water—we are committed to working hard in order to conserve it.

We have improved our water efficiency and limited our water footprint in local watersheds by setting water usage goals, collaborating with managers on achieving those goals, and investing in water-efficient technologies in our bottling plants. From 2006 to 2016, our production centers in Utah and Idaho avoided the use of over one billion liters of water. We accomplished this by implementing water efficiency and reuse projects and monitoring the daily water usage rate in each of our manufacturing plants.

Swire aims to both reduce the water we use and enhance the natural environment’s ability to retain water. To understand the watersheds in which we operate, we have completed Source Water Vulnerability Assessments for each of our manufacturing facilities, utilizing the expert knowledge of third-party hydrogeologists. These assessments are used to study any risks associated with water supplies, from environmental to social risks. Following these vulnerability assessments, we have also developed Source Water Protection Plans, which work to protect the watersheds in our operating areas.

One of our major initiatives toward protecting the water resources in the communities and ecosystems in which we operate is called the Replenish program. In collaboration with our partner, The Coca-Cola Company, we work to implement conservation projects that restore the water supplies of natural water bodies like rivers, wetlands, and aquifers. We have partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) on two restoration projects in Utah and Idaho, and on a new project in Colorado.

In 2016, we returned approximately 272 million liters of water to nature and communities; in 2017, with the addition of the Colorado project, that number will increase to 588 million liters. In 2016, Swire and CCNA funded Replenish projects across Swire’s operating areas that returned to nature 208% of the water consumed in six Swire and CCNA bottling plants. The water replenishment projects that we support improve water for communities, which enhances wildlife habitat and recreational activities.



Water Champions: Smart Rain

With the topic of sustainability becoming more and more relevant the idea to start Smart Rain came in 2012.  From conception Smart Rain has taken off servicing not only high end commercial properties, but also government buildings, schools, city parks, retail spaces, and residential.  Smart Rain has been able to fill a gap customers needed that not many contractors have even realized was there.  They have been able to upgrade irrigation systems to help with water efficiency and conservation which in turn saves customers immensely on water bills.  Smart Rain’s mission is to grow to be a nationally known brand for water sustainability and help conserve our most valuable natural resource.

Since Smart Rain was started in 2012 it has installed hundreds of commercial sites and it still manages many of them on a daily basis today. They have filed and secured a patent on the process in which they provide water management. They have filed several more on the process and technology in which they are developing. They have saved their customers roughly 350 million gallons of fresh water and more than $1 million dollars on water bills.



Water Champion: Real Salt Lake

At Rio Tinto Stadium, we take all efforts possible to conserve water. Our goal is to have the best pitch (soccer term for grass) possible when we host a home match. The best pitch provides our team with a competitive advantage… which enhances the Real Salt Lake fan experience.

Real Salt Lake has made an effort to minimize the amount of grounds to water, but the water used is vital. To offset the higher water consumption on the pitch, we have determined areas around the stadium where we can conserve or eliminate water usage.

Our landscaping throughout the Stadium grounds is designed with water conservation in mind. Rio Tinto Stadium uses a drip system and ground cover to limit evaporation. Also, landscaping is designed with water-wise plants rather than planting a lot of grass throughout the grounds.

Also, Carnival Real, a one-acre area used to host fans in a fun outdoor area, was modified with water conservation top of mind. The gravel and grass area was replaced with artificial turf, completely eliminating the need to water. Minimal landscaping was used as well in Carnival Real’s perimeter. Original plans included a water feature, but were modified due to the need of strict water conservation efforts.



Water Champion: Rocky Mountain Power

Utah’s first sources of electricity were the rivers of the Wasatch Front. Predecessor companies of Rocky Mountain Power saw the potential for electric power in streams that had driven lumber and grain mills since pioneer times. Today, it is hard to envision modern life without the convenience and reliability of electric power.

Many of those early power plants continue to operate today. Locally, the Stairs and Granite hydroelectric plants in Big Cottonwood Canyon were originally built by predecessors of Rocky Mountain Power’s.

The Stairs plant, located on a cascade on Big Cottonwood Creek called The Stairs, began generating in 1896. The Big Cottonwood Power Co. applied for a franchise to serve Salt Lake City, but the mayor vetoed it. A petition signed by 126 prominent Salt Lake businessmen prompted the city council to pass the franchise over the mayor’s veto. By 1897 the Granite plant was in service farther downstream. Granite was built to increase the supply of electricity for Salt Lake City’s electric trolley lines. Granite got its name from the Granite Paper Mill, which was nearby.

In all its operations, Rocky Mountain Power seeks the wise use of our natural resources. Water for all power plant operations values conservation and close cooperation with local water officials. For example, at the company’s Gadsby plant in downtown Salt Lake City, the company converted the plant exclusively to natural gas fuel in 1991. Water for the generation cycle is recycled many times through the boiler, while water for the cooling cycles uses Jordan River water extensively to minimize the use of city culinary water. At a newer natural gas generating plant, Currant Creek near Mona, Utah, an innovative air-cooling system was selected to greatly reduce the plant’s water requirements.

Always looking to the future, Rocky Mountain Power’s long-range plans look 10 and 20 years ahead, and are completely updated every other year. Our interests focus on productive relationships with stakeholders to craft a vision for resource management and sustainable energy for customers.



Water Champion: Orbit Irrigation Products


At Orbit® Irrigation Products, water is at the heart of everything we do, make, and sell. Our slogan, “Conservation through Innovation,” defines the multi-pronged approach our company has taken to protect our most precious resource: water.

Early on, Orbit recognized that efficient outdoor water use is one of the easiest and best ways to conserve water. We consciously develop products with water conservation in mind, and we believe we have hit the nail on the head with our newest product, the Orbit B-hyve Smart Sprinkler Timer.

B-hyve allows you to water smart, and connects to local weather data giving your landscape the exact amount of water that it needs.  We don’t like seeing sprinklers turned on in the rain, and with smart watering, your B-hyve sprinkler timer will automatically adjust to any changes in the weather.  

The B-hyve app allows you to completely program your B-hyve timer straight from your smart device or computer.  Enter your soil type, sun exposure, local weather, and more to start watering smart.  After our initial launch in the spring of 2016, the Orbit B-hyve has already saved over 1 billion gallons of water.

In addition Orbit provides many free, online tools to support users in understanding and managing their watering needs. Orbit’s Chief Conservation Officer and COO, Stuart Eyring, promoted these projects to get more people engaged in the process of saving water. “We wanted to make saving water an easy thing for people to do without having to sacrifice the beauty of their landscape—and make it free for everyone to use.”

Orbit holds itself to a high standard in water conservation. As a sprinkler manufacturer, we continually quality-test our products at our facility in North Salt Lake. We have invested in a comprehensive water recycling program that allows us to recycle about 90% of the water used in testing.

By making water conservation a priority for our company, we estimate that millions of gallons have been saved through outreach efforts alone. Our goal, however, is to push well beyond that and save billions of gallons by simply changing watering behavior through promoting smart irrigation products and easy-to-understand tools.



Water Champion: IM Flash

IM Flash Technologies, LLC (IM Flash) manufactures innovative semiconductor products in Lehi, Utah.  Utah is the second driest state in the country and water resources are limited.  The semiconductor manufacturing process is water-intensive.  Each wafer that is produced goes through a series of cleaning steps dependent on ultra-pure water.  IM Flash generates ultra-pure water from a combination of recycled water from our operations and local raw water resources.

The foundation for IM Flash’s water conservation efforts is the Environmental Policy statement which is established by top leadership.  The policy states that IM Flash strives to “conserve natural resources and reduce environmental impacts from our operations.”   IM Flash proactively manages water consumption by identifying opportunities to increase water use efficiency and reduce raw water demand.  For example, post-production water from our manufacturing process is redirected to our water purification systems for reuse in production, or to ancillary activities such as water scrubbers, boilers or manufacturing equipment that does not require ultra-pure water.

A key factor in our ability to manage water use is the measurement of water flows throughout the process.  While the majority of water use is consumed in the semiconductor manufacturing process, water is also used to water landscape, provide drinking water, control air pollution, reject heat from manufacturing tools, and generate steam for heating and ventilation purposes as well as humidification of the manufacturing clean room air.  Measurement of water flows throughout the facility provides information to facilities engineers that are then able to manage water use in all areas.  Based on the management principle of what gets measured gets managed and what gets managed improves, IM Flash records daily water flows and generates metrics which are reviewed and reported regularly.  These metrics provide data for demonstrating or driving continuous improvement efforts in water conservation.

During calendar year 2016, IM Flash recycled water at a rate of 35%.  The quantity of recycled water was equivalent to the annual water use of a large industrial facility.  Additionally, IM Flash saved electrical energy costs and associated indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with the potential pumping of additional raw water since the primary source of IM Flash’s water is groundwater pumped from private wells.

Water use is critical to the success of IM Flash.  For this reason, water conservation efforts play a significant role when considering corporate responsibility and sustainability of our operations.



Water Champion: Intermountain Healthcare

Health care is a very water intensive business. From the boiler and chillers, the sterilizers, the patient care and the “hotel” services, water plays a large role in the care of patients. Unfortunately, health care hasn’t always been a good steward of this important resource. With that being the case, opportunities for improvement are plentiful.

Intermountain Healthcare is constantly searching for ways to improve operational efficiency and environmental impact. Through upgrades, control replacements and general maintenance of its boilers, Intermountain was able to reduce water usage by 8.8 million gallons annually. Side benefits were also realized such as chemical reduction, energy savings and in some cases water reuse. The Intermountain team continues to investigate technologies, methods and devices that will assist in water reduction in its buildings, facilities energy plant and landscaping. The Facility Development & Planning Team as well as the Facilities Operations teams have worked hard to reduce the amount of lawn and incorporate xeriscaping into the design of its campuses. Drip irrigation for plants and trees, and moisture sensors sprinklers for lawns areas are replacing traditional sprinkler systems.

Intermountain Healthcare is seriously committed to our water steward role and is currently working on developing a water reduction goal and supporting strategies.



Water Champion: Hexcel


Hexcel Corporation (Hexcel) located in West Valley City, is a leading supplier of carbon fiber, honeycomb and other composite materials for the commercial aerospace industry. Our wastewater discharge consists of carbon fiber rinse water, reverse osmosis reject water, cooling tower blow down, and non-contact cooling water. The discharge from these sources is considered high-quality for a wastewater.

In 1997, Hexcel began investigating the feasibility and regulatory requirements of reusing this water for irrigation. An agreement was reached with West Valley City, the Division of Water Quality, and the Canal Governing Board to discharge Hexcel’s high-quality wastewater to the West Valley City Municipal Golf Course. During the winter (non-irrigation) months, water would be discharged through the golf course’s existing lines to the Salt Lake Canal. The quality of the water would be monitored as prescribed in Hexcel’s Utah Pollution Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) permit. The UPDES permit includes limits for TDS, BOD5, TSS, and other parameters.

This best practice has been mutually advantageous to all participants; Hexcel, West Valley City, Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility (CVWRF), and Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD). An estimated 511 million gallons have been beneficially used to irrigate the West Valley Municipal Golf Course since implementation, based on an average flow rate from Hexcel to the golf course between 40,000 and 100,000 gallons per day, or approximately 26 million gallons per year.


Water Champion: Garbett Homes


Since its beginning, Garbett Homes has sought to not only provide competitively priced homes that provide lasting value and savings to our buyers, but housing that takes into account the bigger picture; that bigger picture being Utah and its resources. As Garbett has tried to differentiate ourselves from the competition and continually innovate our building process, we remain conscious of our state’s desert environment. In the last two years, Garbett has taken steps to make an impact on water conservation within the homes and communities we build. For example, we offer our buyers water conserving or low flow fixtures, toilets and tankless water heaters which help them conserve. The most recent aspects of our commitment to water conservation efforts that stem from partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy on building our homes to the Zero Energy Ready standards, and with Slow the Flow for the “Flip Your Strip” initiative and Localscapes program.

Through our partnership with Slow the Flow, we launched the “Flip Your Strip” initiative, an effort to reduce up to 10,000 gallons of water waste a year in landscaped park strips in our communities.  The campaign was launched as an option for buyers in our Daybreak community and has since been implemented into our other communities that have park strips. This partnership brought us more than just “Flip Your Strip”, it allowed us to get more serious about the exterior water use on our homes outside of just programmable sprinklers.  

As a result of “Flip Your Strip”, Garbett has joined forces with Jordan Valley Water Conservation District (JVWCD) on Localscapes, “landscape for where you live”. Garbett is all in on this idea, becoming an official Localscapes partner.  Localscapes are landscapes that look great but also are suited for Utah’s unique geography and weather, which allows Garbett to still provide the green lawn that our buyers want, but provide it in a way that doesn’t waste. This also leads to a more diverse landscape with spaces for entertaining, which buyers enjoy. This effort has now become a Garbett Homes standard for all landscaping in the communities we build, with plans to implement Localscapes landscaping to our corporate office and the Garbett home later this year.

Business leadership key to solving Utah's water challenges


Business leadership key to solving Utah's water challenges

This is an exerpt from an article was originally posted on the Deseret News on May 7, 2017

Last year’s particularly wet winter coupled with reports that Utah’s drought is “over” may provide a false pretense that Utahns no longer need to worry about water conservation. The truth is, water remains a critical and complex issue impacting the entire state, regardless of winter snowfall totals.

As the second-driest state in the nation with a population expected to double by 2050, Utah’s water availability, need for repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, conservation efforts and significant investment in our state’s water data all must be continually addressed.

What is also critical to understand is the economic aspects of these issues. The business interest in water is fundamental. It touches every sector of our economy from manufacturing to food and beverage to education and small businesses, while also being an essential aspect of many business processes. In addition, this finite resource provides the recreational opportunities and natural beauty that attract great companies and terrific employees to our state, ultimately impacting our regional and global competitiveness.

Ensuring that Utah’s businesses make an impact in addressing our water challenges requires a circular approach. This means that in all their processes, businesses find ways to keep resources moving throughout the supply chain, such as water reuse. Adopting and scaling these circular water management practices will help support the necessary repair, investment and public-private partnerships needed for achieving infrastructure resilience and ensuring Utah’s businesses and communities can thrive over the long term.

In conjunction with Utah’s Water Week, the Salt Lake Chamber, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is hosting the annual Utah: Water is Your Business Forum as an opportunity for business leaders and other stakeholders to join in the discussion regarding this circular approach to water. Learning about and discussing best management practices in water stewardship, infrastructure and new innovation and technology will help our state’s businesses continue to lead the way in creatively addressing Utah’s water challenges.

To read the full article head to the Deseret News.


Utah | Water is Your Business Forum


Utah | Water is Your Business Forum

The Utah | Water is Your Business Forum is an opportunity for Utah’s business leaders to learn from local and national water experts regarding best water management practices, new innovation and technology, and how business can get involved in creatively addressing our state’s water challenges. 

8:30 - 9:00 AM Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:00 - 9:20 AM Welcome, Overview, Speaker Introductions

9:20 - 9:40 AM Business Case for Circular Water Management

Will Sarni, Author of Corporate Water Strategies, Water Foundry, LLC

9:40 - 10:30 AM Panel: How Circular Approaches to Water Can Improve Infrastructure Resilience

Moderator: Jennifer M. Gerholdt, Senior Director, Sustainability and Circular Economy Programs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center

Michael Prendergast, Chairman, ClearPower North America

Steve Schnoor, Manager of Environment, Land, and Water, Rio Tinto Kennecott

Brad Wardle, Director of Marketing, Orbit Irrigation

10:30 - 10:45 AM Coffee Break

10:45 - 11: 30 AM Table Discussions & Report Out Round One

In this first set of table discussions, participants will identify key challenges and barriers regarding the adoption and scaling of circular water management principles for achieving infrastructure, business and community resilience.

11:30 - 11:45 AM Announcement: Water Smart Innovation Challenge and Water Champions Program

Keith McMullin, Salt Lake Chamber Board Chair

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM Table Discussions & Report Out Round 2

In this second set of table discussions, participants will identify practical steps and paths forward for overcoming the challenges and barriers identified in the first discussion, such as around new business models and disruptive technology advancements.

12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch and Keynote: Best Practices in Circular Water Stewardship

Mike Bernier, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Swire Coca-Cola USA