Fonterra has started construction of a new plant at its Darfield site in New Zealand which will reduce the amount of groundwater extracted at the facility by 70%.
The dairy company said that an NZD 11 million ($8.1 million) investment in water processing technology will have “a significant impact on its environmental footprint”.
The new plant uses a reverse osmosis technique to purify the water extracted from cow’s milk during the manufacturing process. Water is passed through a membrane filtration system which makes it drinkable and suitable for use in a range of on-site activities such as cooling, heating and cleaning.
Robert Spurway, head of Fonterra’s global operations, said: “Thanks to the new plant we’ll save the equivalent of around 100 tanker loads of water every day.
“As well as reducing water use, the new technology also decreases the amount of water the site discharges for irrigation. It’s a win-win situation.”
The Darfield development aligns with Fonterra’s six water commitments to help improve the quality of New Zealand’s waterways.
Spurway added: “We’re prioritising investment to reduce water consumption. Last year we announced our 2020 target to reduce the amount of water we use across our 26 New Zealand manufacturing sites by 20%.
“The new plant will go a significant way toward helping us achieve our target, creating a manufacturing site that’s more self sufficient.”
The new plant is expected to be up and running by October this year, in time for the 2018/2019 milk season.
In November Fonterra revealed commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, with a 30% reduction by 2030 from a 2015 baseline.
The company has partnered with the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment to develop an initiative towards a low emissions future.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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