Businesses are being invited to participate in a new scheme that shows whether water is used sustainably during their production process.

The water footprint certification and labeling scheme from the Carbon Trust will help companies demonstrate their efforts in sustainability by certifying the lifecycle water use of their products to an international standard. They can then communicate this certification by using the Carbon Trust’s Water Footprint label.

The U.K.-based organization said that water footprinting can help firms better understand the lifecycle sustainability impacts of their products, uncovering hotspots such as pollution, or competing demands in areas of water stress and scarcity.

Armed with this information, companies can identify areas to materially improve the water efficiency and sustainability of products, as well as to preempt regulatory or supply chain risks.

What’s more, improving water efficiency can also result in significant cost savings, particularly where energy is required to cool, heat or pump that water.

Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust, said:

“Companies that have been working hard to become more sustainable recognize the long-term importance of getting a grip on the water use associated with their products. Understanding a full lifecycle water footprint can help to focus efforts on reducing the most significant environmental impacts of products.”

It also makes good business sense to highlight areas of unforeseen risk and cost-saving opportunities, Messem added.