Certified Waterwise: Save water, save money

In 2020 the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce led the charge in getting the Designation as Benefit Corporation Act passed and signed into law in New Mexico. This act makes it possible to incorporate in New Mexico as a for benefit corporation that, among other things, uses the power of business for good. Benefit corporations follow a Declaration of Interdependence, and like members of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, believe that all business ought to be conducted as if people and place matters. In Santa Fe, one thing that certainly matters is water. Without water, our businesses could not exist.

Mayor Alan Webber laid out a goal of making Santa Fe the most sustainable city in the country and the City’s water utility has taken that to heart with help from many local businesses. The City’s Water Conservation Department has pulled together an amazing collaboration between the City, Santa Fe Community College and the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce to make it easy for commercial users to conserve water.  This partnership has developed the Certified Waterwise program for the assessment and promotion of participating businesses. This FREE assessment includes checking for leaks, replacing aerators and other devices, and then providing the business a comprehensive report with recommendations for further water saving opportunities.  These recommendations include potential equipment and behavioral changes, as well as payback time that the business might expect for those equipment changes.  To date, 71 restaurants, 5 hotels, 19 small businesses, one shopping center and one museum have had water usage assessments at their place of business.  They have learned that saving water also shows up in your bottom line.  

This one-of-a-kind program is making strides to achieve the Mayor’s goal.  Due to this initiative, in 2020 Santa Fe was recognized as the Most Sustainable Mid-Size City in the U.S. by Green Builder Media.  As businesses seem to be shaking off some obstacles of the pandemic, the pipeline-pardon the pun- is again filling up with hotels and restaurants wanting to participate.  With 19 restaurants, 8 hotels and another shopping center wanting to participate, we envision more recognition of this leading-edge work coming our way.

Local recognition is also key for the success of the Certified Waterwise businesses.  Participating commercial customers can be found on the Save Water Santa Fe and Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce websites and are further promoted on our social media along with the Santafe.com screens around town.  Finally, Certified Waterwise businesses are given the badge shown here.  If you see this badge, know that this business has chosen to do business better and is looking out for the people and place of Santa Fe Show them your support.

If your business would like to participate call 505.501.0222 or email  glennschiffbauer@gmail.com