MILAN – The technology which enables a Mexican dairy to operate without using local underground water has won Nestlé the Corporate Water Stewardship prize at the Global Water Awards 2015. The initiative, called “ZerEau”, developed as a pilot scheme in the Cero Agua factory, which is situated in an area of high water stress, is ready to be exported to other factories across the world.
A prize for commitment
“This prestigious award is of enormous value because it rewards five years of hard work from the team which developed the project” Jim Knill affirmed, head of the Nestlé dairy company – Twelve years ago, I was told this could not be done, because of cost, the quality of the water and the technical complexity, but we have demonstrated that the technology works and now we want to apply it elsewhere”.
The site is the first to use a piloted technology which permits operation without having to draw upon groundwater for normal functions. The water is extracted from cow’s milk and treated to enable it to be used in the manufacturing process. The excess resources are then treated once more and used for the cooling and cleaning of machinery.
After the success of the pilot scheme in Mexico, Nestlé is also planning to export it to other dairies situated in zones with water issues in South Africa, Pakistan, India and China. Projects like these are amongst those activities which Nestlé Waters has been undertaking for some time to achieve full water efficiency and limit the impact of production on natural resources.