More than 1,000 UTC employees and their families joined about 35,000 people in Singapore on March 16 in its effort to highlight the importance of water conservation during the annual World Water Day.
World Water Day is an annual event organized by the United Nations to raise awareness at preserving water resources. World Water Day was observed internationally on March 22.
The main event in Singapore was a mass 1.1-mile walk for water that simulated the average distance people must walk each day for safe drinking water in many developing countries.
"Water is an important resource, and on this island, we easily take for granted our accessibility to the quality of potable water," said William Kircher, vice president, Singapore Overhaul and Repair, and president, UTC Aerospace Singapore. "At Pratt & Whitney, we are committed to environmental sustainability - where we each must be responsible to be careful in our use of nature's resources and promote practices that reduce the environmental impact of our operations and daily living."
The mass walk was kicked off by the Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan. At the end of the walk, participants launched the Singapore World Water Day celebrations with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Activities such as kayaking, dragon boating, cycling, mass walks and picnics were kicked off at 11 locations across the island. Among the highlights was a formation of a giant water droplet by more than 3,000 people. This day has special significance for Singapore, which has been identified as a water-scarce region.
Pledging to make every drop count, Pratt & Whitney and UTC identified several effective best practices to reduce water usage, and are working to implement them across all operations. The best practices include closed looping, low flow faucets and fixtures, rain water harvesting, cooling tower management, and, specific to Singapore, the utilization of NEWater in industrial processes. NEWater is Singapore's treated wastewater that has been further purified using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet technologies. The water is potable, but is used mostly for manufacturing applications.
By implementing these effective practices, Pratt & Whitney, Singapore operations reduced annual water consumption by more than 15 million gallons a year. With the latest facility addition this month at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore, the certified LEED Gold and Green Mark facility is piped to connect to NEWater, and will showcase many water conservation features, including low flow faucets and toilets, and closed looping of wastewater processes. Green Mark, similar to LEED criteria, is a building standard in Singapore intended to promote sustainability.
Pratt & Whitney demonstrates its leadership and commitment to sustainability year-round through its "People. Planet. Power." campaign, which reflects how our business decisions, innovative products and improvements in EH&S benefit employees, customers, the environment and the company's long-term outlook.
UTC's goal is to have 100 percent of factories in Singapore connected to NEWater, where available, by 2015. The use of NEWater and other effective water conservation practices will bring the total annual water usage reduction to more than 25 million gallons.
Currently, UTC operates in 19 locations in Singapore, employing more than 5,000 people.