Event Management’s new drinking water system helps Columbia reduce carbon emissions and waste, reuse water carafes, and minimize our need to recycle plastic bottles. The three R's are critical to our catering operations. In 2010, we installed the Vivreau Water system which now provides all bottled water supplied at conferences, meetings, and special events coordinated by the organization. The system takes ordinary New York City tap water and passes it through a triple-filtration process that produces high-quality drinking water. In addition, the system allows Event Management to bottle its own still and sparkling water on-site in sleek reusable carafes.

“Not only are we helping to reduce the University’s dependence on plastic bottles, we are reducing carbon emissions because we have minimized our need for truck deliveries."

David Martin—General Manager, Faculty House

While sustainability is clearly a key objective, our business managers have discovered that the water filtration system offers many benefits besides reducing Columbia’s carbon footprint. The system dispenses high volumes of chilled water, relieving the pressure on refrigerated storage, as well as the cost and logistics involved in disposing of vast amounts of plastic waste associated with pre-bottled waters. We have reduced our annual order for pre-bottled waters by approximately 35,000 plastic bottles since implementing the system.