Over the past three years, Kraft Foods has reduced its water consumption in manufacturing processes globally by 21 percent, or by more than 3 billion gallons. This exceeds the company’s goal two years early.
In the United States, for example, water conservation programs were implemented at several coffee, bakery and grocery plants. To reduce water consumption at a Jacksonville, Fla., coffee plant, the facility installed a closed-loop system to reuse water to cool coffee grinding equipment instead of using city water, which helped reduce water use by more than 35 percent (nearly 20 million gallons/75 million liters).
Kraft’s Atlanta, Ga., bakery cut water use by 33 percent (nearly 17 million gallons/64 million liters) by reducing the amount of water used for cleaning specific equipment, eliminating unnecessary re-cleaning of equipment, repairing leaks and changing cleaning procedures. The food company’s Champaign, Ill., grocery plant decreased water use by nearly 20 percent (nearly 120 million gallons/450 million liters) through several efforts including fixing leaks, and outfitting plant boilers and evaporating equipment to reuse well water instead of the town’s water.
At its corporate headquarters in Northfield, Ill., three lakes on the campus capture rainwater for reuse in handling half of the property’s irrigation needs. The building is also cooled by ice, which is recycled water frozen at night.
The company also reduced water consumption at several global plants in Australia, Bahrain and Germany. A Port Melbourne plant reduced its potable water use by up to 39 percent, a cheese and beverage plant in Bahrain cut water use by 33 percent and a cheese plant in Fallingbostel, Germany, decreased water use by 7 percent.