Nestlé will reduce the total amount of water it uses in Mexico by 15 percent a year as the result of its new dairy facility in Jalisco, which will produce 1.6 million liters (422,000 gallons) of water daily out of cow’s milk, according to the company.
The company plans to replicate the initiative in other Nestlé factories globally.
The factory takes fresh cow’s milk, normally around 88 percent water, and heats it at low pressure to remove some of its water content. The resulting steam is then condensed, treated and used to clean the evaporating machines.
Once the machines have been flushed out, the water is then collected, purified and recycled a second time. The water can then be reused for watering gardens or cleaning, and removes the need to extract groundwater for operations.
Over the past 60 years, the amount of water available for each person in Mexico has declined drastically due to population growth, making groundwater preservation a priority.
The water savings are part of Nestlé’s efforts to promote the conservation, treatment, recycling and water efficiency in its operations and among farmers, suppliers and other partners in its supply chain, according to Marcelo Melchior of Nestlé Mexico.
In March, Nestlé was one of 15 companies that committed to looking at their carbon-water management holistically, following research by sustainability specialists Anthesis and the Water Footprint Network.
Earlier this month, Nestlé, together with Unilever, Coca-Cola, Google, Facebook, Nike, PepsiCo and dozens of other major companies and nonprofits launched a digital sustainability platform intended to drive conversation and action on sustainability.