UK food & drink industry cuts water use by a quarter in seven years

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 06 Jul 2015 12:28
Industry water consumption decreases
Industry water consumption decreases

Members of the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) who are working towards an industry-wide water reduction target have collectively reduced their water use by almost a quarter since 2007.

New figures released by FDF today show that these food and drink manufacturers have significantly reduced the amount of water used in the production of food and drink. Between 2007 and 2014, FDF members have reduced their water consumption by 24.2%. This is a reduction of 5.1 million cubic metres, enough to fill 2,040 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The figures for water intensity (the amount of water needed per unit of production) saw an even bigger reduction of 26.3%, decreasing by 0.69m3 per tonne of product compared to 2007.

The reductions contribute towards industry’s Food and Drink Manufacturing Water Use Reporting, which shows that industry has collectively made a 15% reduction in water use since 2007.

FDF members’ impressive savings alone represent a major contribution towards the industry-wide target to reduce water use by 20% by 2020 compared to the 2007 baseline.

In the last year, FDF members have continued to make progress, achieving a 3.6% reduction in their water use.

Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation said: “Increasing concern over future water supply means that water resources need to be used as sustainably as possible. Food and drink manufacturers have long recognised this and have been playing their part in improving water efficiency.

“Water use reduction is at the heart of our environmental ambition. This encouraging result is a testament to the commitment and action of our members. They have been implementing industry-leading water saving initiatives across their sites. We hope that this example will encourage many more companies to take action on water use and see the benefits for themselves.”

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “Today’s announcement is a tribute to the continued commitment and achievements of the food industry in promoting and delivering water efficiency. It shows this country has a food and drink industry that is leading the way in using innovation and technology to improve how it works, which underlines why they are one of the most exciting parts of our economy.

“So far this year we have made good progress in water security and are encouraging innovation through initiatives such as the establishment of the UK Water Partnership. Together with government, industry has joined forces to develop new technologies, boost knowledge and build skills making us better placed than ever to respond to this important issue.”

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