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Nestlé Waters Helps Swiss Farmers to Fuel Their Crops and its Factory

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Nestlé Waters Helps Swiss Farmers to Fuel Their Crops and its Factory

Nestlé Waters Helps Swiss Farmers to Fuel Their Crops and its Factory
September 05
10:01 2016

A joint project between Nestlé Waters and Groupe E Greenwatt to build Switzerland’s largest biogas plant has focused on producing renewable energy while supporting Swiss farmers. Manure is burned in the biogas facility, which powers the nearby Henniez water bottling site, reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions by 30%.

The project begins and ends with the network of local farmers. In return for their cows’ manure, they receive a highly sought after fertiliser which is organic and nutrient dense – the final product of the fermentation process in the biogas plant. The farmers then reuse it on their crops, saving money as they need to purchase less fertiliser. This exchange is cost neutral and helps create sustainable farming business as they recover valuable nutrients that would be otherwise lost.

The premium fertiliser produced by the biogas plant is easily absorbed by plants, and produces fewer ammonia emissions for the environment.

Nestlé Waters financed feasibility studies and sought partners in 2009, examining possible causes of damage to the Henniez water source. With the collaboration of Groupe E Greenwatt, a facility to produce renewable energy was built next to the bottling plant. The electricity generated from burning the manure, along with coffee waste from local Nespresso and Nescafé factories is sold to the Swiss grid. The heat from the plant powers the Henniez facility, reducing CO2 emissions by 50%.

Supporting sustainable agriculture in this eco project is good for the farmers, the environment, and Nestlé Waters. Henniez’s Sustainability Manger Michel Marcuard says: “It wasn’t easy in the beginning. We had to win the farmers’ trust and convince them that we weren’t going to harm their livelihoods. But now it’s a great partnership – a win-win.”

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