Global corporations, as well as the EPA, have timed major water-related initiatives with World Water Day, March 22. Here’s a look at some of the announcements.
First, the two cola giants have separate initiatives.
PepsiCo is more than three-quarters toward its goal of reducing water consumption by 20 percent by 2015. So far, the company says it has reduced water use (per unit of production) by more than 15 percent.
In 2009, the company saved 11 billion liters of water because of efficiency improvements. Those efforts include using purified air to clean Gatorade bottles, instead of water, as well as the UK subsidiary Walkers reducing water use 42 percent at a potato chip factory.
In a separate announcement, PepsiCo said it planned to reduce packaging weight by 350 million pounds by 2012, as well as to eliminate all solid waste to landfills at its production facilities.
On the other side of soda production, Coca-Cola and the U.S. Agency for International Development have jointly invested $12.7 million in a global partnership to support water scarcity and quality in Africa. The campaign falls under the banner of the Water and Development Alliance.
Dole Food introduced water-saving processes at its banana harvesting and packing operations in Costa Rica operations. The New Millennium Packing System aims to reduce water use tenfold, as well as cut energy use 50 percent.
Nestle Waters is embarking on a water education campaign, starting in nine communities where the water bottler has LEED-certified facilities.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson outlined a new vision for keeping contaminants from drinking water. Specifically, EPA is looking at stricter regulations for the carcinogenic compounds tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, acrylamide and epichlorohydrin.
Tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are used in industrial and textile processing, while acrylamide and epichlorohydrin can be introduced into drinking water during the water treatment process.
Nalco, a leading water treatment company, and World Wildlife Fund have started a partnership, with the goal of developing best practices to protect and conserve water.
For maintenance purposes and toilets, the Navy is tapping into recycled wastewater.
UK-based United Biscuits has reduced water use 28 percent since 2007. The company previously had a target to reduce water 25 percent by 2020, meaning the goal has been met early.