First Milk analyses water use to drive sustainability agenda

Major UK dairy, First Milk, is working with a new water supplier to improve efficiency and use, after it highlighted water as a key objective in its recently published sustainability policy.

Severn Trent Costain (STC), a joint venture between Severn Trent Services, the water and wastewater solutions supplier, and Costain the engineering solutions provider, will be working with First Milk to improve the company’s water efficiency.

First Milk recently set out its sustainability objectives with its first sustainability report, published in October 2012.

The company has highlighted five specific programme areas within First Milk’s sustainability policy and improving the efficiency of water use at its sites is a key objective within the ‘Reduce, Renew, Recycle’ pillar supporting their drive towards renewable energy, zero waste and recovered water use throughout the supply chain.

First Milk manufacturing director, Paul Rowe, said: “Being able to get a closer handle on our water usage is not just beneficial to our business, but to any business.

“We believe that this new contract with Severn Trent Costain will help us in our quest to meet some of the sustainability targets we have set ourselves as a business, and help prepare us for some of the short and long term challenges facing our industry”, he added.

STC said: “We will install monitoring equipment at all of the six First Milk sites, which will enable First Milk to develop a detailed understanding of their water usage, as well as options for how it can become more efficient”.

Following the switch to STC, the UK dairy will be the first business customer to switch water supplier since the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) altered regulations to allow businesses to choose.

Until recently only businesses that used more than fifty megalitres of water a year, equal to 20 Olympic sized swimming pools, could switch from their existing water supplier to a new one.

The threshold has now been reduced to just five megalitres of water, equivalent to two Olympic sized swimming pools, which has substantially increased the number of businesses that are able to choose their water supplier from just 2,200 to 26,000 businesses.

Leigh Stringer

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