Posted on 25 April 2012.
Nestle is joining a new research partnership between industry and academia that aims to improve the environmental performance of consumer products and services. The company is the only global food and beverage manufacturer to join the ‘International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment’ unit at the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) in Montreal, Canada.
Life cycle assessment is the most widely used scientific methodology for assessing products’ overall environmental impact. CIRAIG is one of the largest research centres of its kind in the world. It generates new life cycle assessment knowledge, methods and tools, and shares these with its industry partners. Nestle is supporting its work with an investment of C$500,000 (Eur382,000).
Life cycle assessments measure a product’s environmental impacts across the entire value chain: from ingredient sourcing to processing and manufacturing, its use by consumers and how its packaging is disposed of or reused. Nestle’s approach to using life cycle assessments in all its product categories has enabled it to systematically improve the environmental performance of many of its popular products and systems.
“This partnership will help us expand our knowledge of life cycle assessments,” said Nestle scientist Urs Schenker. “We use them when developing products to measure areas of environmental impacts, for example water use in agriculture, CO2 emissions in manufacture, and the amount of energy used in distribution.”
He adds: “The partnership will also help us to provide consumers with improved information about our products’ environmental performance, helping them make more informed decisions about what they buy. Online graphics such as the ones created by our Nescafe brand can help people understand the life cycle concept in an interesting and accessible way.”
Posted in Environment, News
Posted on 07 March 2012.
A £100 million fresh milk dairy at Bridgwater, Somerset in England has succeeded in increasing its use of recycled water by 50% to over 300,000 litres of water every day, equivalent to the daily water use of 663 households. Known as ‘Britain’s green and white dairy’ Robert Wiseman Dairies Bridgwater facility has set the standard for environmental performance since it opened in 2009 and was the first dairy in the UK to have its own reverse osmosis (RO) plant to ensure that water leaving its on-site effluent treatment plant could be recycled and reused in the dairy.
Recycled water is returned to the mains water tank to be used across the dairy for everything from cleaning the filling lines to pasteurising the milk and significantly reduces the requirement to draw water from the local water supplies.
The RO technology was first introduced in early 2011 initially allowing around 200,000 litres of water leaving Bridgwater’s on-site effluent treatment plant to be recycled and reused. This installation has been expanded and is now providing over 35% of the water required by the dairy which has an annual production of around 500 million litres.
“Water scarcity, particularly in the south of country is a significant issue and our Bridgwater dairy has amongst the best water per litre of milk produced ratios of any dairy in the country,” says Billy Keane, managing director of Robert Wiseman Dairies. “This water recycling is another step towards meeting the target we set of reducing water use across our network of dairies by 25% by 2015 whilst also helping to further reinforce Bridgwater’s reputation as the world’s most environmentally advanced fresh milk dairy.”
Headquartered in East Kilbride near Glasgow in Scotlant, Robert Wiseman Dairies procures, processes and distributes almost a third of all fresh milk consumed inBritain, every day. The company has six dairies and a distribution network which enables the company to deliver milk to customers in every GB postcode. Wiseman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Muller Dairy (UK) and employs around 5,000 people.
Posted in Environment, News
Posted on 12 May 2011.
The UK dairy industry is ready to take its environmental performance to the next level. The recently launched Dairy Roadmap demonstrates that dairy processors have met all their environmental targets to date, including a minimum 10% recycled plastic in milk bottles.
However, Dairy UK, the trade association that represents the interests of dairy farmers, producer co-ops, milk processors and doorstep deliverymen, says that a ‘recycling revolution’ in the supply of recycled plastic to the dairy industry would be essential if the industry is to meet the targets it has set itself for the future.
In 2010, more than 70% of milk bottles purchased in the UK were recovered for recycling and more than 12,000 tonnes of plastic was recycled into fresh bottles. This helped to reduce emissions from packaging in the sector by 27,000 tonnes in 2010 alone.
The next target the industry has set itself is to achieve a minimum 30% recycled plastic in milk bottles.
“As the industry’s environmental performance continues to improve, recycled plastic becomes an ever scarcer resource. Just as we are upping our game, we need the recycling industry to up theirs and provide us with the materials that will enable us to achieve our ambitious next set of targets,” explains Jim Begg, director general of Dairy UK. “We need more and more recycled plastic and what we need to see is a recycling revolution with a major expansion of the operations of existing recycling companies and the creation of new firms which will deliver the materials we will need.”
Posted in Environment, News