Water sustainability - Articles and news items

High energy whisky (with water) – how membranes can provide sustainable water systems and energy recovery for distilleries

Issue 2 2016  •  26 April 2016  •  New Food

Scotch whisky production is one of the industry’s most conservative sectors but it is increasingly looking to new technologies to improve sustainability, minimise costs and maximise operational benefits. Three key areas of consideration are the reduction of waste; overall energy use; and water consumption – to meet the Federation House Commitment to reduce water consumption by 20% by 2020…

Nestlé to transform Californian milk factory to zero-water facility

Industry news  •  20 May 2015  •  Victoria White

Work is underway to transform a Nestlé USA milk factory into a zero-water factory, meaning the plant will not use any local freshwater for its operations…

Diageo unveils ambitious Water Blueprint

Industry news  •  15 April 2015  •  Victoria White

Cutting water use in half and replenishing water in water stressed areas are just some of the industry leading targets in Diageo’s new Water Blueprint…

Nestlé opens its most water efficient factory in Mexico

Industry news  •  23 October 2014  •  Nestlé

Nestlé has opened its most water efficient factory in the world in Mexico, in a move that the company plans to replicate in other Nestlé factories globally…

Water reuse and recycling in the food industry

Issue 6 2012  •  11 January 2013  •  Anke Fendler, Environmental & Innovative Technologies Specialist, Campden BRI

Water is an essential resource for food and drink production. With water scarcity worldwide a serious concern, there is a need for industry to address the impact of its water consumption and consider ways in which it can optimise water use in the future whilst ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of its products. This article discusses legal, quality and safety issues for reuse and recycling of water in the food industry and gives an overview of possible treatment technologies.

Water is scarce worldwide. Some recent examples include the severe drought of summer 2012 affecting 80 per cent of the United States as well as parts of Mexico and Central and Eastern Canada1, and the risk of a serious drought in the South East of England after an exceptionally dry winter, only averted by persistent heavy rainfall in recent months2. Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of popula tion increase in the last century, and around 1.2 billion people, or almost one fifth of the world’s population, now live in areas of physical water scarcity3.

Water scarcity directly impacts on all areas of food production. Water is used throughout the food production process as an ingredient and in unit operations such as food cleaning, sanitising, peeling, cooking or cooling. Water is also used as a conveyor to transport food materials through the process. Finally, water is used to clean production equipment between operations.

The changing face of water stewardship: It’s about much more than philanthropy

Issue 2 2012  •  1 May 2012  •  Daniel W. Bena, Senior Director of Sustainable Development, PepsiCo, Inc and Tara Acharya, Director of Global Health and Agriculture Policy, PepsiCo, Inc

As the title suggests, the concept and practice of water stewardship in the food and beverage industry has seen some significant evolution over the past decade. Part of this evolution was natural, but much of it, arguably, was the result of external stressors and diverse stakeholder voices which facilitated this evolution. Most notably, water stewardship has become much more holistic, along the lines of truly integrated water management approaches, and is now recognised more explicitly as being ‘a part of’ the core business – not something which sits ‘apart from’ it.

To say ‘it’s not about philanthropy’ is much more than an attempt to pique the reader’s interest; rather, it represents a cornerstone shift in thinking by companies and their partners to a more expansive view of what comprehensive water stewardship means. When we consider that no other single element besides water sits at the nexus of so many global challenges, it is advantageous to ground us in the magnitude of these realities. Indeed, water materially impacts such diverse things as water (in)security, food (in)security, climate (in)security, global health, education, gender equity and even national and international security.

As we sit here today, nearly one billion people – 884 million1 – lack access to safe water supplies. This is nearly three times the population of the United States2, and this is the result after literally decades of programs attempting to help mitigate this crisis.


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