Food and Drink Sector on Target for 20% Water Savings

Published on Monday, 13 September 2010 12:39
Posted by Scott Buckler

More than two million cubic metres of water – equivalent to 800 Olympic sized swimming pools – have been saved by UK food and drink manufacturers, it has been announcedThe annual report of The Federation House Commitment (FHC) – a responsibility deal to improve water efficiency within the food and drink industry – says the 42 signatory companies have reduced their water use by 5.6% (2.06 million m3) since 2007.


Water use in the sector (excluding that embedded in products) stood at 36,559,054 m3 in 2007 and has reduced to 34,500,091 m3, despite a 4.2% increase in production by the signatory companies involved. 

The sector’s progress towards achieving a 20% reduction in water use by 2020 is a result of working with the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) which launched the initiative and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) which has recently taken on management of the commitment.

Liz Goodwin, CEO at WRAP, said:

  “Water is becoming a scarce resource and in many parts of the UK there is less water available per person than there is in some Mediterranean countries.  We must all take some responsibility for changing things and these signatories are leading the way. 

“Reducing water consumption is also helping the food and drink sector to reduce its carbon footprint and deliver cost savings at the same time.

“The progress made over the last few years suggests that the sector is on target to help contribute to a 20% reduction in processing water by 2020.

“I hope WRAP’s management of the FHC will help new and existing signatories to achieve even more. For example, all signatories will benefit from a package of support including on-site advice from a technical water expert. 

“Additionally, they have access to online tools, benchmarking information, case studies and the chance to participate in peer-working groups,” she added.
Richard Benyon, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: 

 “The recent drought in the North West reminds us that we must all work together to protect Britain’s precious water supplies.

“It’s encouraging to see businesses in the food and drink industry unite and lead by example through the Federation House Commitment, as they strive to meet tough standards up and down the country.  Saving water can also save money, demonstrating how closely the economy and the environment are linked.”

John Sutcliffe, chair of the FDF’s Sustainability Steering Group, said:  “We are delighted that FDF members have continued to make such a significant contribution to achieving this important target for water reduction across the food and drink manufacturing sector. The crucial role of Envirowise and now WRAP in providing support and best practice advice to signatories in the food industry has been invaluable.”

Source: ©Wrap

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