PepsiCo applauded for off-grid water ambition

Plans by PepsiCo to take its largest manufacturing factories off the water grid by 2018 have been singled out by a leading environmental think tank as an example of best practice.

The global drinks brand is looking to utilise the embedded water in potatoes by employing stack heat technology to capture the steam created by cooking them and turning it back into water.

PepsiCo is set to install recycling systems across its operational sites to ensure that the water captured through this technique can be reused back into the manufacturing process.

During 2012, the company will be trialling these technologies at two plants – Veurne in Belgium and Broek op Langedijk in Holland, with plans to adapt and bring together the separate technologies in the UK in following years.

These ambitions were highlighted by the Green Alliance during a roundtable discussion of its designing out waste consortium to a leading group of peers and NGOs and others earlier this month.

The consortium concluded that big changes are needed by business, underpinned by a clear policy framework from government, if the economy is to successfully move from its current linear model to a circular resource-efficient one.

Water is set to become an increasingly scarce resource in the coming decades, and water capture and reuse will be crucial in closing the gap emerging between demand and supply. This could reach 40% by 2030 according to one analysis.

Maxine Perella

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