What Is the Carbon Footprint of Your Company’s Water Service?

Posted on May 1, 2020
Carbon Dioxide Dial

Consumers agree that the environment should be a priority for companies. A 2017 study based on a survey of 1,000 Americans revealed that 88% of U.S. citizens are more likely to be loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.[1]

There are simple sustainable changes you can make to help lower your company’s carbon footprint and save money. For instance, you could cancel your water delivery service and switch to a bottle-free cooler instead. Relying on 5-gallon jugs or single-use plastic water bottles for your workplace’s water needs is expensive, inefficient, and time-intensive—and that doesn’t even consider the environmental impact. 

Global production and consumption of plastics are at an all-time high and are continuing to rise. The surge can be attributed to plastic’s attractive qualities: it’s versatile, lightweight, strong, moisture resistant, and relatively inexpensive. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials ultimately become waste with staying power, taking around 450 years to biodegrade.[2]  The overuse of plastic and the long-lasting qualities of plastic caused the growing global pollution crisis we face today. Plastic waste impacts nearly every corner of the world, including our oceans. Without intervention soon, the amount of plastic littering the world's oceans is expected to triple within a decade.[3]

Be Part of the Solution…Not the Problem

Consider being part of the solution by providing your office with water without plastic.  While those plastic, non-biodegradable jugs are recycled and refilled with water after you’re done with them, the demand for them continues their production, and the environment suffers, even with the best water delivery service. Consider also the gas and emissions necessary to deliver water jugs to your workplace. Instead, bottle-free water filtration systems purify the water that’s already available to you, and saves you—and the planet—resources, money, and time.[4]

What’s the Carbon Footprint of Bottled Water?

A carbon (or CO2) footprint is the carbon dioxide equivalent of the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product.[5] It includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. 

When it comes to bottled water—both in a single-used plastic water bottle or a 5-gallon jug water delivery service—the carbon footprint is extensive, taking into consideration every step of the plastic production process from the oil or refined petroleum that made the plastic to the trucks that are crucial to 5-gallon jug delivery.[6] Quench studies found that a passenger vehicle that travels 47,476 miles releases as much CO2 as a jug delivery service delivering water to a business with a headcount of 50.

Furthermore, the 500-ML plastic water bottle has a total carbon footprint of 82.8 grams (about 3 ounces) of CO2.[7] The estimated total carbon footprint of bottled water production in the US is 31 billion pounds of CO2. For comparison, that’s the equivalent of the footprint of a car that drives 52 billion miles or the average annual footprint of 5 million cars![8]

Quench is on a mission to provide clean, great-tasting water that is safe for both you and the environment. Our solution: bottle-free water coolers. 

What’s the Carbon Footprint of a Bottle-Free Water Cooler?

Unlike a water delivery company that produces, fills, transports, delivers, and recycles 5-gallon plastic jugs, a bottle-free water cooler delivers water directly from your water line. That cuts out the plastic containers and office water delivery truck emissions and translates to a 98.49% reduction in your carbon footprint every year, according to Quench research.

Quench research also found that a standard Quench water system prevents approximately 150 5-gallon plastic water jugs – or 6,000 8 oz. single-use plastic water bottles – from ending up in landfills and waterways each year. Beyond that, companies can save around $2,600 annually if they switch from a 5-gallon water jug delivery service to renting a bottle-free water cooler – or $3,700 annually if they switch from a single-use plastic water bottle delivery service to a bottle-free water cooler. With those savings, plus the environmental paybacks, it should be a no-brainer that the benefits of a bottle-free water cooler outweigh those of a bottled water delivery service.

Quench’s Eco-Friendly Water Service is Mission-Driven

At Quench, enhancing the sustainability efforts of our customers is a core value of our service. We help workplaces eliminate the use of plastic bottles and office water delivery services, with their incumbent fossil fuel depletion, carbon emissions, and additional plastic waste, by filtering a building’s existing water supply at the point-of-use (POU) via a bottle-free water cooler.

The 150 5-gallon plastic water jugs that an average office saves with one Quench system don't end up in landfills and waterways each year. Plus, a Quench cooler prevents production and transportation pollution associated with a water delivery service. By adding a Quench water cooler to your business, you are taking the next step to becoming an eco-friendlier company.

Not only does Quench strive to make the 50,000+ businesses we work with eco-friendlier, we also incorporate sustainable environmental practices in our operations wherever possible. Quench continually seeks to improve product offerings and business practices to reduce our own environmental footprint. To learn more about how Quench “walks the walk,” check out our Environmental Sustainability Mission Statement.

Even the best water delivery services near you don’t compare to the cost and environmental benefits of bottle-free coolers. It’s time to ditch the 5-gallon water jug dispensers and upgrade to a Quench filtered water machine. There are Quench Water Experts located across the United States. Find one conveniently located near you by checking out our list of major markets here.  Your employees and the environment will thank you. 


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnycouncil/2018/11/21/do-customers-really-care-about-your-environmental-impact/#647bf544240d

[2] https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033 

[3] https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/21/health/ocean-plastic-intl/index.html

[4] https://www.avalonh2o.com/blogs/news/what-is-a-bottleless-water-cooler

[5] https://tappwater.co/us/carbon-footprint-bottled-water/

[6] https://sciencing.com/carbon-footprint-plastic-bottle-12307187.html

[7] https://sciencing.com/carbon-footprint-plastic-bottle-12307187.html

[8] https://tappwater.co/us/carbon-footprint-bottled-water/

Quench Divider