Greentrepreneur: Water Works

Tell us a little bit about your company, and what’s on your plate right now both as a business and as a member of the sustainability conscious New Orleans community.

small_Water_Works-Home_r1_c2-2Water Works was formed in 2012, as an L33, in order to integrate water management and foster collaboration among the different groups working to promote resilience and sustainability.  As a socially conscious company we are mission driven, and committed to supporting community-driven solutions to address flooding, water pollution, and other hazard related issues.  We maintain a diverse mix of consulting and pro bono projects in support of our mission.  Water Works is a founding member, and currently supporting the development and growth of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative.  We are also leading the update of the New Orleans Hazard Mitigation Plan, supporting business continuity for small local businesses, and conducting research on federal disaster policy.  Water Works has developed a resident guide to water management, The Joy of Water, and is engaged in myriad community outreach and partnership efforts.

What are some of your proudest moments as owner/employee of Water Works?

We are proud of our success at increasing collaboration and fostering stronger relationships through our projects. For example, the Business Workshops which we co-led as part of the Main Streets Resiliency Planning effort have led to conversations among small businesses regarding how they can work together and support each other during business interruptions.

How does your organization go about improving your social and environmental impacts?

We strive to keep our environmental impacts at a minimum, while improving our social impacts.  For example, in the update to the Hazard Mitigation Plan, the team has been discussing incorporating equity as a consideration in the selection of projects as well as conducting energy assessments for city-owned buildings.

What partnerships have you formed in order to leverage sustainable impact as a company?

We have partnered with the Water Challenge for the past two years in support of their programming and advocacy work.  Through this partnership we provide monthly updates to Propeller regarding the water sector and opportunities to promote sustainable water management.

If you had a magic wand to change one thing that would make it easier for your company or other New Orleans businesses to go green, what would that thing be?

If we could change one thing, we would want individual business owners to feel empowered to take action to increase their sustainability and resilience.  We would want them to be aware that there are many low cost adjustments which they can make and several great examples from other local businesses.

What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state?

We would advise businesses to stay in touch with other businesses and business associations, in order to ensure that they are aware of city-wide and regional efforts – and be able to have a voice.  We would also say that minor adjustments to internal practices can be tremendously beneficial for both sustainability and resilience.  For example, having good contact information for your employees is helpful for both daily operations and in the event of an evacuation.

Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?

Water Works is offering a one hour business continuity consultation for fellow Green Businesses, and a home Joy of Water  consultation for Green Card members.