The water used in the manufacturing process is a relatively small part of total water use in the food chain. But increasing concern over the future balance of supply and demand here in the UK means that all our water resources need to be used as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
Our ambition to reduce water use in food and drink
manufacturing operations is delivered through
the Federation House Commitment (FHC). The
FHC is a voluntary partnership between FDF and
WRAP, set up in 2008 open to all companies in the
sector. Between January 2012 and June 2013 an
additional nine companies signed up, bringing the
total number to 71 across 294 sites.
Signatories agree to achieve significant reductions
in water use to help reduce stress on water
supplies and contribute to an industry-wide
absolute target to reduce water use by 20% by
2020 compared to 2007.
Between 2007 and 2012 signatories collectively
made a 16.1% reduction in their water use
(excluding that in product). This is equivalent to 7.4
million m3 water or 2,965 Olympic-size swimming
Between 2011 and 2012 signatories reported a
1.5 million m3 reduction in water use.
The significant progress made under the FHC is
even more impressive given that production has
increased by 6.1% over the same period. Per tonne
of product water use has declined 0.52 m3/tonne,
which equates to a reduction in water intensity of
20.9% compared to 2007.
Beyond the FHC, FDF's Every Last Drop campaign
to raise awareness of effective water management
along the food supply chain has continued to gain
momentum. New videos targeting boardroom level
decision makers were launched in 2013 featuring
interviews with Defra Minister Richard Benyon and
Chairman of William Jackson Food Group, Nicholas
Oughtred. The campaign won 'Water Management
Project of the Year' at the BusinessGreen Leaders
FDF and its members have continued to input
through BSI into development of the draft ISO
standard on water footprinting. Following the 2011
Water White Paper FDF has also been engaging
with both Defra and the Environment Agency
on the development of policy options for making
the water abstraction licensing system more
Case studies: Water
Nestlé has established Climate Adaptation Plans to ensure it uses
water wisely, mitigating the business impact and food security
consequences of likely future water shortages.
Through its 'Creating Shared Value' programme Nestlé is developing
comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Plans for all its UK sites
by 2014. Harnessing the knowledge and expertise of cross-functional
teams through interactive workshops, the company analyses key climate
vulnerabilities in depth.
Using its own business tools alongside those of the Environment Agency and
UK Climate Impacts Programme, Nestlé has adopted a thorough, systematic
adaptation approach, measuring how past climatic events have affected its
sites and assessing future risk.
A diverse range of actions have been identified from its adaptation plans
across all the climatic drivers: heat stress, cold stress, flooding, drought,
storms. Example actions include comprehensive investigation of Sustainable
Urban Drainage Systems functionality at its Fawdon and Tutbury sites.
In the longer term, Nestlé's ambition is to
extend this programme across its whole supply
chain and engage local communities to build
awareness of environmental issues.
Young's Seafood Ltd
In 2012 Young's Seafood Limited adapted its award-winning Fish for
Life programme on responsible seafood sourcing, transforming this into
a whole-business philosophy on responsible management.
The company's Macrae Edinburgh site set a target of reducing water use by 5%
year on year, identifying areas where it was possible to make savings in water
and implementing various on-site projects to do this.
Analysis identified that water used by the hygiene team accounted for 50% of
the factory's overall water usage. The site reduced the water pressure used
20bar to 16bar, which considerably reduced water
volume, saving 2000 m3 of water annually without
affecting its high hygiene standards. By adapting some
of its machinery and hand wash sink pressures, the site
has made significant additional reductions.
Through such projects, the Macrae Edinburgh site has
met its target of reducing overall water use by 5% year
on year. The combined efforts of these projects have
saved the site an estimated 6500 m3 of water per year.
In this report
Last reviewed: 16 Dec 2013