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Aug 112009

From Green Right Now Reports

Kraft Foods, the world’s second largest food company, announced today that it has exceeded its goals for reducing water consumption.

Since 2005, the company has achieved a 21 percent reduction in water use in its manufacturing, saving more than 3 billion gallons, according to a press release from the Illinois-based company.

“We’re changing behavior and getting results,” said Steve Yucknut, Vice President of Sustainability, in the statement, which noted that water conservation is vital to survival in a world where millions struggle with water scarcity.
“Around the world, thousands of our employees are working on projects that help us reduce our environmental impact. We focus on manufacturing, since that’s where we use the most water for internal operations. And we pay particular attention to water-scarce areas, where the need is greatest,” Yucknut said.
Kraft highlighted these projects:

  • A plant in Port Melbourne, Australia has reduced its use of potable water by nearly 40 percent. The plant is now exploring ways to reuse waste water by partnering with a road construction group to reuse water for road compaction and dust suppression.
  • In Bahrain, a Kraft cheese and beverage plant reduced water use by 33 percent by using alternative options to enhance the effectiveness of cleaning without compromising product quality.
  • In Jacksonville, Fla., a coffee plant installed a closed-loop system to reuse water to cool coffee grinding equipment instead of using city water, helping it reduce water use by more than 35 percent (saving nearly 20 million gallons a year).
  • In Atlanta, the Atlanta Bakery reduced water use by 33 percent by improving cleaning procedures to begin cleaning before using water, and by repairing leaks at the facility.
  • In Champaign, Ill., a grocery operation reduced water use by nearly 20 percent through conservation, fixed leaks and using evaporating equipment to reuse well water instead of the town’s water.

At its company headquarters in Northfield, Ill., the company is using three lakes on the corporate campus to capture rainwater that supplies about half of the property’s irrigation needs. The building is cooled by ice from recycled water that is frozen at night, creating cool air that is pushed through a cooling system for offices.

Kraft, which employs about 100,000 people, is known for Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings, Maxwell House coffees and Oscar Mayer meats. It makes Oreos, LU biscuits, Philadelphia cream cheeses, Jacobs and Carte Noire coffees, Tang, Milka, Cote d’Or, Lacta and Toblerone chocolates.