Tag Archives: water

Enviromental Success Stories

This document is really well worth the read.

click the image to visit the website

Two things that are interesting about the examples discussed are:

1) They mainly reduce the factories impact on the environment by saving water, energy or reducing emissions which are often product, raw material or byproduct. So the fixed production costs are very often reduced at the same time as the environment benefits.

2) They are seldom complicated or technologically groundbreaking and are often common sense.

A few examples are

  • Campbell Soup reduced energy consumption by 4,85 and water by 13,45% by installing utility meters, introducing recycling, installing energy saving light bulbs and introducing low flow water nozzles.
  • Craft Foods reduced its energy cost by 60% for a new cold store by installing it underground in a limestone formation.
  • General Mills produces 90% of the steam it uses in its milling and preparation plant for Breakfast cereal production production, by burning the bran produced in the plant.
  • Musco Ollives uses 15 tons of olive pressing waste a day to produce enough steam from waste water to produce power for production.
  • Kroger distributes 30 million meals a year from food that, although safe and wholesome, is destined for landfill for commercial reasons.


Eco-Efficiency Issues

This document from a Queensland (Australia) initiative to improve eco-efficiency covers a number of emerging issues in Food Manufacturing.

ecoefficiency factsheets foodprocess general ecofoodgen fsg4 pdf

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Some of the topical issues discussed are Food miles, Virtual water, Life cycle assessment, Supply chain management and Food eco-labelling.

The site also contains case studies and manuals that provide implementable information for food processors.

WWF and World’s Second Largest Brewer Return Water in South Africa

SAB Ltd, is funding water saving projects to compensate for its potential water consumption of 14 billion litres a year in South Africa. WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is facilitating the “water neutrality process” with a South African Government Project to ensure that this is not just a multinational greenwashing!






SAB Ltd is the South African subsidiary of SABMiller which is the second largest brewery in the world .

Water Neutrality

In October 2008, Dr Deon Nel, Head of the WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership explained

“The concept of water neutrality, based on its carbon equivalent, has been used loosely over the past years; however, until now no-one has been able to quantitatively justify these claims. We believe that our scheme is the first in the world that allows participants to truly claim to be water neutral.”

Participants will replenish water supplies, by investing in projects that quantitatively supplement water supplies equal to their water usage.

Note: Water neutrality has taken on a form in certain areas that is significantly different to the process introduced here by WWF.

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WASTE – Food, Energy, Water & Time

I have for a long time worried and talked about waste and the attention it deserves when considering nutrition in Africa.

In the past I focussed on the food which could have been available for the poor and malnourished if it hadn’t been lost and on reusing for other purposed if it couldn’t be used as food.

But now a few reports have made me come to see that this is much wider context. The first by the UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) quantified the household waste of food in the UK.


from: WRAP
(click image for full story online)


This report finds that 28% of the mass and 32% of the value of all food bought in the UK is wasted.

While this is important to the UK food chain it also effects the rest of the world as the food chains runs back to the farm, maybe in Africa where 30% too much energy, water and labour have been used satisfying the UK food market!


Now The Water Footprint!

We had the carbon footprint, but now its the water footprint that is threatening to constrain how we make food.

Water Footprints Make A Splash | Worldwatch Institute.jpg

from: Worldwatch
(click image for full story online)


The water footprint concept is introduced because of the overall shortage of water that is expected as a result of the growing population and the changes in eating habits.

Some of the interesting examples given in the article are:

it is estimated the 4,645 average liters of water that Britons consume daily leads the country to import 62 percent of its water sources

livestock production requires the most water resources in the food chain. One hamburger, for instance, needs 2,400 liters of water on average.